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Uranium Mining in Western United States and its Effects - Research Paper Example

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Before the war, the federal government had little interest in the region and people of the Colorado plateau, namely the Navajos. This changed after the rise in the demand of uranium both for military and civilian use. …
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Uranium Mining in Western United States and its Effects
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Download file to see previous pages The element, uranium, occurred in ores mined for extraction of other minerals, especially carnonite. After the First World War and during the second war, uranium received a lot interest as an element. This write up follows the development of uranium mining as a by-product, to the exhaustive processing of uranium containing ores in search of uranium in later years. Uranium received such great interest because of its properties. Uranium decays with the release of energy and other particles; this makes it useful in nuclear weaponry and in production of electricity. Uranium was pursued for both reasons to a varied degree. This research paper investigates the circumstances that led to the uranium rush. The mining of uranium has numerous effects to both human beings and the environment. The writer of this paper reviews the chronological but enduring effects of uranium mining in the western United States. It investigates the ecological, social-cultural and health effects of uranium mining in the western states.
The importance of uranium and the role it has played in the development of the US cannot be belittled. Nevertheless, the lack of due care in the mining and processing of uranium ore resulted to varied adverse effects. Some of these effects have been around for several decades and are not yet over. Due to the long half-life of uranium, thorium and radon, their deposits take millions of years to reduce to safe levels. Additionally, the presence of a water-soluble uranium isotope made it easy for the spread of radionuclides from the mining districts to other states. Geography of western United States Western US covers the greater half of the country. It is divided into pacific states, west coast, mountain states, western Texas, and the mid west. The first group includes Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington while the west coast refers to California, Oregon, and Washington. The mountain states include Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. The Midwest includes Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota among others. (Energy-net) The western region features a wealthy but intricate tectonic history. This includes volcanoes, extension and compression. The Colorado flat terrain is at the centre of this region. The deformed Rocky Mountains (north), southern Rocky Mountains (northeast), Rio Grande rift (east), and the basin and range (south and west) surround the plateau. The plateau consists of gently tilted blocks of monoclines (Fagbola 2007, p. 1-8). The Colorado plateau extends to about 130,000 square miles. It is in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona. Precambrian and metamorphic rocks form the basement of the plateau. Colorado’s basic topography can be demarcated threefold. The eastern part consisting of plains, the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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