Mining uranium is dangerous work. Not only does it involve mining, which is dangerous itself, uranium is also found alongside some very radioactive stuff. Learn the ins and outs of this thrilling endeavor in this episode of SYSK.
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like we talk about my aim before not our finest episode. If I remember correctly from some of the listener male corrections, we got, Was it combining nose like underground mining, organist, skirt around them and Uranium mining is like its own thing, like all mining is pretty bad some resemblance to one another, but uranium mining in particular. Is really heavily regulated the stuff that it produces. any am appropriately enough, Z, a really regulated substance, because it can do some pretty powerful stuff and it's just kind of interesting, especially concerned in the history of uranium in humans, which is a fairly recent history. Yeah I mean you know, kind depends on what era you're talking about, but Bahrain, and brings to mind a couple of things depending on when you're too king about, if you're talking about the fifties during the
were in the arms race, then you can only think about the enriched uranium in nuclear. Clear war: nuclear bombs. If you fast forward to the seventies, you think about kinder gentler uranium still radioactive, but one that would be used for energy production and here's a pretty weapons stat on on the kind of punch it pacts. As far as producing energy- and this is starting- Frankly, a seven gram, pellet of uranium fuel produces, Much energy is almost eighteen hundred pounds of coal in three. A barrels of oil. I urge remarkable. I love that too, so I filled with it on a calculator. Little bit now observe you talk about. Seven five kilograms of enriched uranium fuel, would produce the same amount of energy as something like all two million pounds of coal. Just seventy five
culture is a hundred. Fifty pounds produces two million pounds of coals worth of energy, and it's pretty amazing it is because uranium is is radioactive, like it the case spontaneously over over time right when it does it releases, gamma, radiation and energy in the form of heat, and if you can contain and kind of encourage this decay. These in these reactions were Neutrons- can Yvonne barred uranium atoms and create all sorts of where's your release and it happens like trillions of times. Can't. You can generate enough, he to boil water to spin turbine which to me still when the Moselle areas things that humans have ever come up with using nuclear fuel, or to generate the turn turbine to produce. Electricity is just as Leslie round about as it gets, but that's what nuclear energy does is. How produces electricity
The air and become the cool thing about that production of electricity in regards to nuclear warheads is dirty de escalation after the cold war, and we could still go back and use that stuff. We can that enrich uranium that was stored in nuclear weapons and reuse a lot of that stuff. In fact, most of it I think four reactors to power yeah and you can get a lotta use, are because typically the news. fuel? The enriched uranium that they use in a nuclear reactor to create electricity is about five percent uranium to thirty five, which is that the money isotope when Europe creating nuclear power our that's right, if you're using it for military purposes like a nuclear bomb. It's like ninety percent You could get a lot of nuclear fuel in radio or uranium that was enriched her for a nuclear bomb in red,
using it for nuclear fuel? I think this is such a great like like swords to Ploughshares Canada kind of fable, Yeah and there's enough, it can also be used for other stuff it. It's not just for in power super efficiently. Theirs. Then called and how its pronounce, but it's M o L, why be Denham D de anyway, I'm sort of its the be silent in it Molly Denham. Ninety nine were we be Denham, ninety nine, but I think they MO? Ninety nine, which is super useful measure, but it's This is a decay product, one of them hey products of uranium, and is really useful for medical imaging like to see if your heart Lumping rider to see if your cancers metastasized in the kind of freak eating is until ten Ten, it was actually made and use from what, since grade uranium, and then said,
in two thousand ten. Now they need so low enriched version that they use for yeah. I saw that there are nuclear reactors that produce electricity. They don't have to use enriched uranium. They can actually use like natural uranium or instil generate electricity from that which I think that might be. I don't know if that's a trend or not, but I'd like to see it become one word like, we can get away with nuclear enrichment, not do that anymore. It would save a lot of problems because nuclear, itself isn't necessarily problematic and it is like low carbon, almost carbon free, a form of energy, but there's a lot of problems with the by products of the enrichment processes will talk about yeah in another call little bum fact about when they first discovered uranium as well as radium, isn't that the earth early uses radium was used to make glow paint
and uranium was used as a glaze, decorative glaze and then send their like the Hague stuff is actually nuclear, yeah no wonder glows and it makes a nice glaze gathers. There's also someone called vaseline glass, which is a collectors item, but it has like a radioactive to it because it has uranium in it and then Anthea s aware, like that celebrated twentieth century dinnerware, the Red used it uranium in its glaze until nineteen. Seventy three. What's a call for yesterday s where you you're really know that right, colored plates and balls and everything that were like really kind of big from the thirties until he could still around today. You ve seen em like that staff. At sir. We have some of that stuff for, like you know, barbecues daftly boil instead of our fine China and Brazil, so review. If you got it in nice
thirty, three or prior. You may want to update your collection cause. That's now we would like the new target versions of that's not gonna, be ok, It is probably not radioactive so uranium. It was discovered in seventeen, eighty nine, by a subject of the kingdom of Bohemia, which is present day Czech Republic, His name was Martin Clapper off a new is actually a german chemist. he liked Bohemia more by Adam. He discovered named uranium after the planet uranium, which have been discovered earlier the decade, I guess it was still just the hot new thing on it: but his mind, because that's what uranium named after yeah there's in others different kinds of uranium it. It has different kinds of isotopes which basically are the different forms. With different number of neutrons and, depending on how stable each isotope is, reach version is
summer, more radioactive, some are more likely to out to produce nuclear, vision summer less likely. I think you mention your two. Thirty five is the money one for you know nuclear war, and I guess, for power production to Europe, that's the one you want. You don't want any of that garbage to thirty eight stuff two thirty eight is the most abundant is more of that stuff You don't even ask about thirty seven. He said said there's three that are naturally occurring. Two hundred and thirty, eight two hundred and thirty, five and two hundred and thirty, four and what's really cool about it- is in him to thirty five and uranium to thirty eight or work primordial elements. They're like genuine real deal star dust like their crimes, inner shortly after the Big bang. So the uranium around here on earth was like was round at the beginning of the universe is way older than earth. Hence the name primordial and if you believe
can, I write exactly and its half life give this show. Three thousand years, which is why I've been around for no longer than earth. Did you get a job I gotta get? let em in someone's can be mad at us, but who doubt Monogamy so man, no actually the half life of two thirty five. is about seven hundred million years and then too, the half life. So if you take a grand of pure uranium to thirty eight in stored in a container, and you come back and check on it four and a half billion years. Only half of it decayed in that time is ancient stuff in its pretty cool We figured out a way to use them primordial element is ancient stuff that was created in the big bang to generate steam too. turbine to generate electricity is amazing if you want a mine, the stuff Austin
He is number one in the world. I think about thirty percent of all uranium in the world is in Australia. Two is causing Stan yeah. That was it. terrible boy, maybe first, I've ever heard? Well number three as Russia, I'm really ashamed of myself and then number four is: is Canada and Russia? The US, Canada beat you, Russia's number three ahead of Canada, as there must be as of this year. Ok, gotcha got to you because I know where I guess last Kazakhstan came up in the last within about the last decade. Canada got the number one producing mine cigar Lake mine it pretty something like thirteen percent, the world's uranium single handedly in doesn't nineteen. Just this one mine in Canada and Canada's uranium is so rich.
Remember we how riches it I'm glad you s, chuck it so rich that they have to use robots to mine it because the humans can't get near it. It's too dangerous. yeah, but if any, they may not be talking about that a little bit later. It is riches it comes which is good for Canada, sure, the. U S, doesnt have a ton of it. I believe There are currently six states that have mining operations, Wyoming New Mexico in Utah had the box. and then there is also some in Arizona Nebraska in Texas Anna Arizona is is interesting because there is in drink any national park, there is uranium and in twenty twelve President Obama said you know it. Twenty years there is a ban on uranium uranium mining on this millionaire is of land around the Grand Canyon and then just a couple of my
go in February this year they passed the house pass the Grand Canyon Protection ACT to make that permanent, and I think it now goes to Senate Committee it pass generally, of course, along party lines. With a Democrat saying he keener, we gotta protect our land and republican, saying. Oh, it's fine right I saw it. I mean it. I saw it in so many ways I saw oppressor he's from Mark Kelly, whose now senator Arizona, and he in I think, Kristen Cinema Co Sponsor to build. These are both from Arizona to basically do with that house. Building was protect or make that ban permanent, and in this way, really so that the Grand Canyon General different one. I think it was a king current yeah. It was a different bill. I think that there is a house bill in the Senate bill. I think they do this. Sometimes it makes it happen faster because when it goes through, committee
they. They come together and work out the differences rather than you know that goes to the house, and then it goes it can happen, concur yeah, concurrently. I think that- what's going on, but I where the upshot of it is that the in the press release Mart Kelly said that the Grand Canyon generates of them One point: three billion dollars in tourist revenue for state of Arizona every year would yet How long is it going to take? You did to mine that much uranium? It just makes sense to protect the Grand Canyon, and that just thank Iselin yeah mean that was the point that they were making on the democrat side. Is the amount of uranium? Was I can't remember what it was not that much, I think it was like less than one percent of the total in the United States and they were the same. The benefits just some closed outweighing the risks. Yeah and I mean again and welcome, but I don't think I'm not, but I would say we're not here just knock uranium as
as an energy source or even uranium mining when it's done correctly but yeah when, when it butts up against maybe the most celebrated natural treasure in an entire nation entire continent, maybe just skip that one, I think, is honey I might take on yet to squeeze just little bit of european area is so short sighted, so sick of short, sightedness, too there's a cool quoted here in this. This was originally from the House of Works website right. Yeah it was as maritime viral thousands and this guy Michael Amazon, he's a historian on the atomic age. He's talking about. You know basically world war, two coming around uranium being the hot ticket said uranium, went for being a weed to a weapon instead of serving, as is useless pigment anglaise
Mr teaching element of war- and I think that happen pretty quickly- arms race, heated up at like Russia, the Soviet Union and the United States. Were really really moving fast to get as much uranium is Botswana. Yet I mean up to that point. Uranium was like again: there is used for Pigman Ceramic glaze, not for much, and then the Manhattan project happens and all of a sudden, it's like every country in the world is looking see whether they have uranium deposits or not because the USSR in the United States, one as much as it can get not just even necessarily have to build up its psychotic, to keep the other guy from getting his hands on it as well? So the thing the human introduction, the journey, Politics introduction to uranium was kind jarring. In that sense, it cause they came hand in hand with the atomic age, uranium to thirty five was what was used as the nuclear corps for little boy. The
on those drawn it on Hiroshima. So it was like it was a very memorable, Debut Urania. Had in the public mind friend, for it stay that way for a while, until it soon become associated more with nuclear energy, to take a break, I think should take a break gear analysed it. You should now push shop stuff. You should now. You know everybody in twenty twenty one. Mental health is finally a thing, so many people are struggling right now or not feeling motivated and would like to make some changes and the czech- and I urge you to tell you that therapy helps yet
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to get to work. So I player that somebody- and she was like played. I can't say, final, believes every line dessert, affordable coverage. In just three minutes. You can save vague with low down payment on state minimum coverage down call one eight hundred safe are over your quote today. Alright Let's say you want to mine uranium. The first thing you have to do is find uranium. No, you know you For these large deposits. It's you know, you, don't when up a mine unless you do the math and you figure out there hey, there's enough, but I mean it
simple math formula basically like this is how much it costs to mine, and this is how much we can possibly get from this place, Is it worth it or not, because I think one, every one thousand exploration sites of all metals and minerals are ever really you used as the mining sites, so there does their poking around it first and their use in these actually walk around with a geiger counter on the the ground and look for it close up after you. Have you something called a I'm gonna go with simple amateur Yos kid I was going to say scintilla me. Give them are based on the board scintillating Ike, exciting unit. From further range in that picks up gamma rays, it it bigger distances, so you use adverse then you'll zero. In with that Geiger counter you'll check out the lands, and see how viable it is in. You know just enter that all into your little, bread, cheater Alber your determining
equation and if it spits out yes good place for mine then we'll go through this really long, arduous process of getting permitted Yan this stuff they you're going to mine, then becomes what's known as or bodies which are deposits that are economically worth mining in extracting right and yet it does take a lot of time. I saw this article says between three and ten years ago from basically prospecting to production. I saw tend to fit, teen elsewhere too bombing somebody fear, Hake. add another year under their own right by Adam, dares to say where, between three and fifteen years, I'm leaning more towards the ten to fifteen years side. Just because of the permitting having to deal with the public saying like you're not going to do that in my back yard kind of thing is there rather involves involve for any mine, because you play in the mind too, as you'll see in a second like we ve gotta, you gotta plain what
kind of mind you're going to build. You have to plan the mine itself. You have to fear with you. If they were going to sell it to you, then you have to go to the permitting process than you have to actually start to occur. Many things are really jumped out to me. Chuck was how few people it actually takes to mine. Yeah. I mean this article made it sound like a kind of a false he'll operation, I'm sure they range in size. But it has to be a certain size to make it worth your while, like we said so, it's you like a hundred people are less yeah total on this morning's whole Sheng hundred but the mine uranium, which I just thought that was really surprising: yeah and we should also mention too, that there is go digging in their like uranium could be mistaken for decays, thereby byproducts, God. Daughter elements
radon and radio in that can also set off a Geiger counter cell yeah. They they met the super sure that its uranium down there before they get right. Mother, that's actually how they find it using the guy, your counters, because because the uranium itself it has such a long half life decays. So slowly that its daughter, I the tubes, her daughter elements, the wounded aware setting the Geiger counter off. But then you have to say: ok well how much uranium in here, because I want that rate on that's just a hazard to our health either we use it to find the uranium how maturing monsieur and how much radon is there because it find a really really ancient deposit that has been sitting undisturbed in Lisbon. slowly but surely decaying all daughter isotopes, are going to keep building up. So you might find a deposit, that's a lot of radon! You don't want to have anything to do with it, but not that much uranium. Two hundred and thirty five, you know yeah. So once you have found your stuff
you ve got your permit your already to go it's ten to fifteen years on you need to you're out, and you probably already figure out at this point. What kind of mine you're gonna have and there's a few ones, and I we talked about mountain top, move a mining and regular underground mining, but pit mining, one one thing they can do, which is based. Do they blast away land and create a big pit and then they go in there and they remove big uranium or chunks and say here you go go process, it go crush it up and slurry, and was that, what's that saying That's gonna call so the apparently the miners themselves like if Europe, if you're a uranium minor you're, not just an ordinary minor in no disrespect ordinary minors, but Europe, especially trained especially to Tibet, Nice uranium because to you in an open pet process too, to pick the stuff out in in ghettos,
Much of the actual uranium is possible, so they they you have this saying a mine is a terrible thing to waste get all uranium out in a waste. Is it terrible thing to mine, you dont want to mind the stuff. That's not uranium so I added a little bit of extra tonight, saying it's a lot more succinct than that, but I think he didn't hurt. Let's hear it, I thought you know that you're gonna be out even more surprisingly, I was de. I think you can also strip mine is that true, yeah open pay in strict mining are like within. If you got deposit within, like four hundred feet of the surface, but I think the big difference between those two chucks reminds us that taking the layers of soil off the top until you reach the deposit, whereas opiate accuracy, use. You know you black irritated her, but their related there like come their service mind anything. They both qualifies that
and then you go underground mining, of course, which is just deeper and they go down those mind chefs or what's called at its, which are the vertical and horizontal tunnels and its. Just way more labour intensive its ivy seem a bit more expensive too. or dangerous. Higher health risks so late. They would prefer out of those two to probably, in pit mine were yes it in, but it also depends on you know who you are, talking about prefers it like a few minor. You probably prefer oaken thick as your expose open air if you're concerned aging in a pda. You probably prefer a well run underground mine, because if it's done correctly in built proper, It's probably gonna have less of an environmental footprint than blowing here pit into the earth. Getting all radioactive chunks out here and I think the one that
has the least environmental impact is in city, which It means in the original plays in this interesting in that they, basically you know they don't take these big out of the ground and process it. They use chemicals, his baking soda and sort of like a club, soda mixture so russian, and maybe they injected into the rock through pipes and that separates that the uranium for the rock, but it turns into a solution that they then pump back up to the surface yeah Injection wells they go to into the deposit, because sometimes visited like uranium can be kinder suspended. Sand sand right own raven grew level or near the water table. Yes, so that's that's something that can sounds it lets say you're going in. You got topsoil over about Iraq and then you get a nice aquifer of fresh, unpolluted, drinking water, then below that you ve got a big clay strip of impermeable clay
then you ve got the uranium. They got another place, your Polina uranium deposit sand in between right. Your job is to drill down past their aquifer past the clay to the uranium sand injected with all that stuff and then leave the the dissolved uranium out through a pump through their aquifer without leaking it into the hawk, refer and then taking it off site for processing. And if you do it right you dont, polluted groundwater? You dont disruptor, make the young the clay permeable so that you actually like let the uranium leak out a deposit. If you do it would have the least environmental footprint. It seems to me probably the trickiest version of it yeah. I think, sometimes when you combined to regular words dozens of sounding super grouse, and I think that leaky deposit is fits into that category,
they are definitely does this Muslim moist leaky deposit, I'm sorry than theirs he bleaching, which is terrible. It sounds like a kind of the worst the environmental as well as in my impact goes, and that is women. It sounds like you mustn't, reading this wrong. They extract all the or from the ground the big chance they busted on the ground above ground, and then they leech that pile with chemicals to separate it. So it's almost like it's almost like in Two but above ground, they'll dislike hey wishes, get up here than leech it yeah. A lot of these have a lot to do through another think, with open pit you actually end up using. He bleaching allotted time because you taken those chunks set you blasted out of the earth in your your pouring acid spring ass at all over this pile and stuff that trickled down is caught by these. These um
pipes and your uranium dissolved in there or like you're, saying your spraying, it with hydrogen, peroxide clubs or something like that. So that's all kind of you You can do some of em in conjunction with one another, but the point you're, getting that uranium out of the ground somehow and then you're trying to you starting the process of extracting it from the oars best. You can that's right, then you ve got you stuff, then you need to make it into different stuff. You need a mill, it at a mill and what you want eventually to get too is- and it's pretty funny that they named this uranium powder, but they call it yellow chaos, which just sounds delicious tat way, if you ain't that you would be in big big big trouble. Yes, very big trouble and its it's very highly regulated. Of course, I think they like to put these mills pretty close by
the mines themselves. I think the? U S, Atomic Energy Commission really kind of AIDS, people and saying, Mr Spring it this are close together. And you take that dry uranium oil or in you just humility. Basically I mean it's not unlike allow. mining operations end of the day. You know your basically this trying to separate all the by products that are not by products, but all the stuff that you dont want out of the way I did it. I got it yeah yeah, that's a hundred per cent but they're doing they. Just it's just depending on what mineral you're after you're gonna use different chemicals and in stages of chemicals in the process right so yeah. Why? When you produce this yellow cake, what you basically done is separated natural uranium away from the or the rock that it was part of the sand that it was part of, and you you you compressed into these yellow cakes, and these
it off so now you ve got milled in process geranium, but it's still isn't enriched it still in its natural form and in about its natural percentages, so natural uranium, you have like a thing yellow taken and again don't eat. It sounds delicious. It's just not does not public's she cake now which even if I knew that was radioactive, I would deal, and I wonder how many seconds until you get you're, taking your hands where you're holding is ninety nine point: three percent uranium to thirty eight, which is the one with Very, very long, half life. It's not very! radioactive as far as humans are concerned, is holding things and then two point: seven percent uranium to thirty five. Again. There is at least one canadian reactor that supposedly can create electricity through yellow cake. Really yeah yeah this same before that there is a natural form which is great because
All of this mining and processing its its potentially harm enough to the environment, but waiting till we tell you about enrichment, ripe right. Yak is what do you say was point seven percent and its natural state. In the year. The goal is to get it and it's not like, as be fifty the goal is to enrich it to about two to five percent right, which is still that significant, but that's for if you want nuclear fuel, if you wanted for military purposes You have to enrich that point. Seven percent of uranium to thirty five up to ninety percent and a really ass, What I'm saying. If you get your hands on some military, enriched uranium, you could, fuel, a lot of nuclear reactions with that The point of enrichment enrichment is just another word for concentrating. Basically, we driven out now from the yellow cake, not just the other stuff it's not uranium, but all the uranium. That's not uranium to thirty five, and so it takes a lot of yellow cake
to get uranium to thirty five in enough abundance to actually produce fuel like, for example, if you are, if you're, upgrading, ok, get a thousand pounds of yellow cake from point So do I love thousand out if you're enriching it up to five percent at the that you'd have, I think, fifty pounds uranium to thirty five, the stuff you could actually used to make pellets out of fuel and from thousand then you'd have nine hundred and fifty pounds of with called depleted uranium Mozart uranium to thirty eight saw uranium to thirty, five that you couldn't get out there and all sorts of other. Heavy metals and potentially radioactive impurities, and you can use it for your glaze. Your potter, you can. you're fiesta where, when you're enriching to what you're byproduct is gonna, be ultimately is called hex uranium, exe
or I guess and that will go into a cylinder and then, as it calls it becomes. A solid That's where you have your, but ultimately yours, A little. You know you can press it down and you Your little fuel pellet in that interesting, they figure from powder to gas, to solid to fuel pellet and when you take that day, enriched uranium, you turn into pellets. It's the fabrication process now believe. Yet another companies responsible for that uses get increasingly more specialised. Instead, it out again with specialised minors who reminding the uranium and then is it. Is through hands to hand Jude getting more more specialised, and finally, you have either enriched uranium for nuclear fuel or enriched uranium to explode the significant portions of the planet up yeah, but I'm curious about as if it's all a group a profit share or if like, if they just have a feed
large, Tamil and feed to enrich their like no we're all in this together in Vienna, we get ultimately part of the profits. I honestly don't know how to tell you the truth I mean. Am I someone. I know somebody on now, I'm guessing because it's even though it there's the regulations. I don't think the market itself is necessarily regulated bread. Well, that's not true the more would have to be regulated, but I dont know if there's if there is regulated in the sense that, like it's, it's not capitalist, others, there's not a capitalist, DR bright wishing it I'm not sure. So. We need to talk about health concerns for humans and then the environment. So should we do health and then break or breakin than do, but I say break in. Do both chuck, as I think we ve come to a pretty good breaking point.
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expertise of IBM the world is going hybrid, with IBM, go hybrid at IBM, Dotcom, slash, hybrid cloud, okay, so we ve got the stuff. We minded we first all found it. I was really proud of your even finding a chuck and then I was astounded that we were able than not only mill the stuff, but also enrich it. Fabricated in the nuclear fuel. If you combine all those processes together, you have called the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle and its basically, what we're talking about today, the back into the nuclear fuel cycle, wages Finally, what you do with the stuff once it's a rich enriched or if it's used is spent fuel, that's a whole other podcast that I would really loved to do. Sunday
ITALY, and are particular this? If he should know operation is very efficient because we said Jerry Outer and inner for hair glows green. Then, where we ve had our we ve got our spire This is like common home phenomena. Thursday My friend merit is by the way, told me some alerted her. To that end, could she was when he used to say that her, my friend Bob she told me what it meant. Can't remember. I think it was just some. I think Bob said it was like someone. He would say it when he saw a hot guy or whatever, and if he was soon, hot guy would be home in a how an honour and a soup Guy would be harmonised. Plus tax is pretty great sources a desert Can I go alone Bob he listened. You're a rapist bob moves around between New Jersey and in Portland. I think when you met him, it was in Portland by really
you may impediment both actually is associated with New York for some reason: well, heat the I always do to Portland. Is it I'm not sure why Bob moved to Portland cause he's a very New York guy? I grew up in the news. The area, but a mushroom areas right now. We need to get that Bob Right home our aid, so health concerns for humans, INA we'd there people can debate whether or not we should mine uranium all day long. But there's. No their side that says it's fine for people at its for a water supply, like everyone acknowledges that it has serious health impacts for us. Planet tat, one of the big ones, is again remember it occurs. Co occurs with its daughter isotopes words, daughter elements in imports, Miller Radon. A real problem. Because you re on is a daughter of radium to twenty six radon gases: Radium Tuesday. Twenty six comes from
uranium to thirty eight decay right there's a fortune. Daughters and they followed is predictable stages. Uranium decays, radon gases. These second leading cause of lung cancer. After smoke Tobacco is the number one cause of lung cancer among non smokers, and you can actually get it from sitting around in your house. You it's the problem with it You can inhale it. And when you feel it into your lungs, it becomes a leave polonium which decays self in your lungs and really gamma radiation and alpha particles and beta. Our goals in does all sorts of terrible stuff. Do you give which can give you lie? cancer over time, but, like I said you can get it from sending your house, you should actually get house showed for radon once in awhile, because it's possible there are uranium deposit under your house somewhere, and that rate
and has made its way up when you crack open the earth to get to purposefully get too uranium deposit radar Can I come out in aces which makes it a very hazardous thing for uranium minors? And if you work at an underground mine, especially they're gonna, be I don't know how often but they're gonna be checking and testing for on gas all over that works. I did not just like right where there their digging or whatever blasting it's gonna, be in the in the breakers. It's going to be in the kitchen and there in the office, trailers like they're, they're testing, radon. Gas everywhere this year in the? U S, it's gonna be higher than those in the vending machine? It will be man none of those maybe some she came from publisher I don't even know your online uranium itself actually is its. Its toxicity is The biggest danger there
like ingesting now, you can have serious kidney problems, but, like you usually radioman rate on are the biggest mean that stuff can get your bones yeah. Lydia to real problem. That thing is it so gear when it releases alpha particles, those things kind attend about rode off your skin. so with with uranium member, how it's not particularly radioactive. That's it just sitting there outside. Like even if you're holding in your hands it because particularly problematic. broken and you either inhale it gear, inhaling rate on, or you ingested into, gets on. Your fingers. Your food or something is this invisible thing, but it goes in. your body and it wreaks havoc and particular kidney damage. Cuz it gets into your blood. Your poor kidneys have to filter it out of the blend. It's like I'm not equipped for this kind of thing.
It might even say how Menachem in a harmonised self and then you have real serious kidney problems after them. Yet since for the process involves breaking it out, like that's the whole Golan than you know, it's it's a destination, but also their also is problematic with depleted uranium, to which again is the by product. Of uranium enrichment. It's a big big old, dense of uranium to thirty eight and bunch, other heavy metals, and they use that for all sorts of stuff. They use it for shielding to shield are other re other radiation. They use it as weights in aeroplanes. They use it. Four bullets, there's like tank piercing, bullets, and I was reading a v post about how some Gulf veterans may have been exposed to depleted uranium toxicity because
if they came under friendly fire? Big, some of the shells were coded and depleted uranium cause. It's so dense it'll go right through a tank, but it also this terrible secondary side effect where that means that the depleted uranium breaks and it can be inhaled. It can get ingested. It can go in your skin. So even if you weren't, killed by the depleted uranium shells piercing tank that you're in you may actually get cancer later on, or kidney failure down the road because of that depleted uranium. So there is like a problem with it and then, above all, that to reply. In addition to it, it's it's time, it just because it's a heavy metal as well, which you dont want anywhere in Europe in your body. Yet and this is you know, we haven't even really touched on the environmental impact. Obviously the these mines. It were around in an abandoned before you know that sort of midnight, teen seventies, are super dangerous places because they leave behind. Some may call tailing Caesar those left over pieces of work
that they dont use and they have those by products that we are too about like radon and radiant, but also polonium and sometimes even arsenic, and if it was pre nineteen, seventy five or so a ban Uranium mine was not very well yeah. They ve had. Do a lot of work since then to clean the stuff up, like things, are way different now and they ve gone back to try and clean step up, but it you know the wind and rain carries the stuff away, it gets into the water supply and it's like, I think they said something like you know. It takes forty years to restore the environment back to its natural state- and I hear that, unlike no way man- you can you can never restored to its natural state like If it had never happened, I don't wanna buy I'm with the item by those whose really short time for radioactive substance contaminated groundwater for PETE's sake in it. But this is something this especially fact it native american population, and even more specifically the neighbourhood and again
there's a lot of uranium mines are, maybe no hundreds of thousands of acres of of the neighborhood Lana seventy million pounds of uranium reserves in the nineteen, seventeen were unable homeland and in Angela, sixteenth nineteen, seventy nine there was the biggest. Expulsion of radioactive material in the history of the United States when a damned broke it that rock uranium mill, by the United Nuclear Corporation under Wireless Andrew Jimmy Carter, Swatch, it's not like it was his fault or anything, but he is the one of the people who for said hey? We should really use stuff for nuclear about yeah. I'm in this happened. While everybody was thinking about three mile island and still no one ever heard of a gap in four months after three mile island three mile island of. I think we should do one unlike nuclear releases, a whole episode on that. Through every mile island scared, the big Jesus, of everybody, because all the sun
Green nuclear energy was really threat in scaring, really put a dent in the public opinion on nuclear power power, but with the the church, rock really it just dwarf three mile island release in Still I hadn't heard of it until two days ago, when I started reserving this and it's like it was a huge deal like people die. People, while I going they contaminated their river like ninety, three million gallons of toxic radioactive slow tailings from uranium mining just contaminated the river, and they did tests of the drinking water, eighty miles down stream of this release and they found that it had seven thousand times the x. Optimal radio activity of drinking water, the acceptable drinking water stained, seven thousand time eighty miles down stream
because a higher numbers Navajo Land everybody's, like I have heard that the well and they did I mean all of it. the crime, but the real crime at the centre of it, since they didn't even notify them right They did a really bad job of Eden, even letting them know so like that, miles away you're getting radioactive fallout in the water, but right there where it happened, they were walking in river like they always do, and they were Your skin was literally burned on contact and there are getting boils because from this year A river all of us here, it's just shameful in its and whoever roads, article I think, was from an abomination and they said yes, it was an accident, but about these was an arid and in their always accident, three mile island was an accident, but that's kind of the point. It's like accidents happen, when an accident happens at a uranium operation, its catastrophic and Emily, given the best designed mine operation has to figure out what to do with those tailings all that toxic sludge and radioactive sludge in
its combined and if you dont design you damn right, you dams can fail, but if you do design your damn right, how long is going his stick around, even under the best of circumstances. You know this is not just your normal stuff. This is stuff it's going to be radioactive. For a very long time, so it's it's a real problem. Like figuring out. What to do with this on the back end is a huge problem that humanity just keeps kicking down the road. You know what other towards sound grows together. Let me them here, clearly, if that's not as bad as well as the other one, Don't even remember thinking is like thirty, four, more moisten, it well I did my but always moist. Just put a tag on all this, they do require companies, I believe, took em engaging other reclamation bond, which basically says hey we're cetis setting aside so much of our budget to come back and clean
this up, so they can't at the end say It broke sorry set aside, that money up front supposedly in the fines are pretty steep but to a quarter of a million bucks. No, if you break these land management rules, so there you know, incentive is there for them to do a good job in their reputation is at stake. So we don't, make it appear. Like is just Willy nilly there he's doing whatever they they are accidents innate they'd accompany wouldn't work again. If they I have one of those accidents issue, but but it's you know it's all! when the thing. Well, it's also a demonstration of legal matters who is in charge of the country at any given point time, because you have to have a welder enforces regulations there are meant to keep community safe or you and use, let business do its thing in that seems to go hand in hand with an increase in accidents. You know So why are you anything else? I got nothing else. A little bit of contempt, but
I have. I have hope that we can figure it out, because I think that nuclear energy is not inherently problematic understanding of how to use it is yet we didn't get up certain thanks. I think so teacher naming before I get Well, thanks a mosaic of thanks, yeah, ok, about thanks for the last one. There is nothing for this one against You all know more about uranium and uranium mining in all their jazz, go onto the internet and then keep in Europe for our episode, accidental nuclear releases sometime in the future, since I said some time in the future, it's time for listener mail many colleagues call this from a teacher. Hey guys. My name is Emily him a full time high school teacher from Grand Rapids Michigan wanna. Thank you for number of things. First of all, your podcast on stamp collecting was hilarious as in stitches thinking. Just a joke about at the upcoming up a terrible ideas for the buzz general.
Additionally, as you know, this pandemic has been so hard on the nearly everyone, but, I think, maybe hardest on students and teachers. teachers were gone for me. Honoured thank to demand a year ago for the quick work we able to do when we first shut down to being vilified for not doing enough, has been exhausting at the end today it's been hard to find much joy. In anything the exception, your podcast I went and enthusiasm for knowledge is the only thing my brain seems a space where these days, especially as of late I myself literally laughing out loud more often, jokes and one liners Emily's truly tired, obviously This is so invaluable to me, as most days in with me feeling like crying or calling into a ball and sleeping. also your most recent posts on your respective instagram accounts, showing you altogether give me hope that Things are returning to normal soon, all this to say, you're, providing such an essential service to people around the globe. For most of us, can find your homes in towns. You bring the world to us.
I am, and will forever be grateful. That is Emily guns a truly too, a teacher and Emily that that means more to us than you ever understands. Thanks for sending an atlas also really well said. I am glad that this is, like a teacher ITALY. And if you don't know what you're talking about, we posted photos of the three of us. other again, including a picture of Jerry at Josh, alma clerks, to Graham and check the podcast flower. Nice Chuck, I didn't know we're gonna get a instead shout out. We never plug Instagram sputter Why not? Why not my not just stay with the picture Jerry yeah people- don't ape over her mouth circling very haze, Gazer, really as gambling entering she's a sheepish people really did lose their minds to see Jerry's VS, her biscuit or beautiful. For history,
So, ok, if you want again touch of this like Miss Gulch, did great yes, dutch rhymes with much she's nice nailed it. You can send us an email to stuff, podcast, Iheart, radio, dot com stuff. You should know, is a production have. I heard radio for more podcast, my heart, radio, that I hurt radioactive apple had passed over every list. To your favorite shows.
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Transcript generated on 2021-05-07.