Public safety, environment among concerns for uranium in Nova Scotia – by Josh Healey (Halifax Chronicle-Herald News – July 18, 2018)

Uranium, whether we like it or not, is a part of our daily lives, said Pamela Schwann, the president of Saskatchewan’s Mining Association. “Uranium is a naturally occurring substance and radiation is all around us,” said Schwann. “People don’t realize that.”

Make no mistake, uraninite, the major ore mineral from uranium, can be potentially hazardous. The risks associated with uranium mining are monitored by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) but because Nova Scotia doesn’t have an active mine, testing for uranium and radon gas in the province is not regulated by the CNSC.

Peter Elder, the chief science officer at CNSC and the vice-president of its technical support branch, explained that uraninite’s properties as a heavy metal are actually more toxic than its radioactivity.

“Well, like any mineral, it has some hazards,” said Elder. “Overall, the statistics are that uranium mining is actually one of the safest types of mining based on conventional health and safety.”

Water, air testing in Nova Scotia

Dr. Erin Adlakha, an assistant professor and mineralogist at Saint Mary’s University, has stated that although the presence of uraninite itself is not inherently dangerous to the public, failing to monitor and regulate the mineral is.

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