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Greenland Repeals Radioactive Mining Ban

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the it-ain't-easy-being-greenland dept.

Earth 142

An anonymous reader writes "According to the International Resource Journal, 'Greenland has voted to axe a long-enduring ban on mining for radioactive materials, reopening the market to uranium and rare earths mining. Yesterday's parliamentary vote passed the decision by a staggeringly close 15-14 votes. ... The ban has previously prevented the extraction of some major rare earth deposits, because they are connected to radioactive materials.' 95% of the world's rare-earth demand is currently supplied by China, but estimates indicate Greenland could produce enough to supply 25% of the demand. Greenland's Prime Minister said the decision was made because of financial reasons: 'We cannot live with unemployment and cost of living increases while our economy is at a standstill. It is therefore necessary that we eliminate zero tolerance towards uranium now.' Environmental groups, as you might expect, are not happy."

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About bloody time! (4, Insightful)

war4peace (1628283) | about a year ago | (#45238501)

Resources exist to be exploited, albeit not indiscriminately. Zero tolerance ban is just as bad as gung-ho mining, they're both extremes of what otherwise should be "sensible mining".

Re:About bloody time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45238639)

Even more complicated that radioactive resources have this tendency to stop being radioactive if you ignore them. It's like if your favorite deflationary currency had a tendency to disintegrate randomly in your wallet (on second thought, that makes it even more like Bitcoin).

Re:About bloody time! (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#45238695)

with a half life of almost 4.5 billion years, the sun will expand into red giant and eat the Earth before Greenland loses 60 percent of its U-238

Re:About bloody time! (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about a year ago | (#45239163)

The sun's half-life is 4.5 billion years?

Re:About bloody time! (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about a year ago | (#45239571)

Well... the bit we care about will only be around 0.7% remaining, which is coincidentally its abundance among natural uranium found in the mantle, but who's counting.

Re:About bloody time! (4, Interesting)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about a year ago | (#45238777)

Yeah, it is imperative we act immediately, we only have . . . .*counts on fingers* . . . a couple billion years left before radioactive materials decay beyond economic feasibility! :P

Though on a serious note, kilowatt-hour for kilowatt-hour, isn't it more environmentally friendly to mine uranium than coal? Even factoring all the energy spent in refining and all that, fissile fuel has energy densities many orders of magnitude greater than any fossil fuel.

Re:About bloody time! (1)

FishTankX (1539069) | about a year ago | (#45238919)

That probably depends largely on whether or not you consider the environmental costs of all of the equipment used to decommission the plant that burns it. Decommissioning a plant isn't free, and often times low level and medium level radioactive wastes have to be transported long distances to their final disposal site. The enviornemntal cost of extracting all of the petroleum (and potentially coal) used in the mining, transport, AND disposal of your fuel and contaminated materials has to be considered. The problem with nuclear is you have a long post-retirement supply chain to also consider.

What might be an entertaining alternative to mining uranium from the earth, is mining uranium from fly ash. You could probably get as much energy from the uranium mined from the fly ash, as you did from the coal itself.

Re:About bloody time! (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about a year ago | (#45239255)

The soviet union used to just throw the whole reactor in the ocean. Fissile material and all.

Re:About bloody time! (2, Funny)

cusco (717999) | about a year ago | (#45240175)

The US does as well. We call them submarines . . .

Re:About bloody time! (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | about a year ago | (#45239417)

Good points; I legitimately wasn't sure. But still, the energy density between coal and uranium is still incredibly immense. IIRC the practical energy extracted from fissile uranium is somewhere roughly around 1,000,000 times more than coal for the same weight. After all, coal also require energy and resource input for ore processing, building a large complex power plant, and eventually waste management. Even if it takes 500 times more energy to process uranium ore and waste (factoring in extra effort needed for the industry and plant), you still would need to mine vastly less ore to compare to the leading fossil fuel. And that's also vastly less material per weight that needs to be managed per kilowatt-hour produced, even though the byproducts per weight need much more care. What I want to know is that how do these conflicting factors interact.

Re:About bloody time! (2)

war4peace (1628283) | about a year ago | (#45240203)

Except for when it blows up.
See my comment above on the issue. A well built nuclear plant should withstand anything save for an event so catastrophic that it wouldn't matter if it resisted or not (e.g. 11 degrees earthquake or cometary impact or, oh, the irony!, nuclear warfare).

Re:About bloody time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45240793)

Except for when it blows up.

Coal mines blow up too. They also catch fire. Oh and they sometimes collapse. When that happens people tend to die.

Re:About bloody time! (1)

jcochran (309950) | about a year ago | (#45239429)

That also depends upon if you consider as part of the cost of decommissioning a plant the self inflicted political injuries that increase the cost. Little things like the "OMG, it's radioactive! We're all gonna die!" bullshit involving low level radiation. The danger is from high level radioactive material. And conveniently, such material has a short half life. Which means that it becomes harmless in a relatively short time. The indiscriminate treating of all waste as high level waste merely wastes money and effort.

Re:About bloody time! (5, Funny)

mrchaotica (681592) | about a year ago | (#45239411)

we only have . . . .*counts on fingers* . . . a couple billion years left before radioactive materials decay

If you have that many fingers, you've been hanging around the radioactive materials way too long!

Re:About bloody time! (2)

war4peace (1628283) | about a year ago | (#45240169)

Shortly put, no.
The abundance of Uranium versus sterile earth is same orders of magnitude below Coal versus Sterile earth.
The environmental friendly part exists, though, in theory, but in practice it's dwarfed by cost cutting and incompetence from whoever builds, maintains and decommissions the nuclear plant. there is such a thing as a nuclear plant "as safe as possible" (without becoming ridiculously expensive), but that rarely, if ever, is met. That's the environmentalists' concern (save for the nutty fanatic tree-huggers).

With that being said, the difference between my concern as an environmentalist and their concern is that I am deeply concerned about how a nuclear plant is built, versus their concern about whether it's built.

Re:About bloody time! (1)

auric_dude (610172) | about a year ago | (#45238677)

Or to jump start the economy ""We cannot live with unemployment and cost-of-living increases while our economy is at a standstill. It is therefore necessary that we eliminate zero tolerance towards uranium now," Greenland's prime minister, Aleqa Hammond, was quoted as saying by local newspaper Sermitsiaq during the debate." VIA http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/25/greenland-green-light-uranium-rare-earths-mining [theguardian.com]

Re:About bloody time! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45238723)

Tell that to Obummer. Worst US economy since the Great Depression and yet he still tries to sabotage our oil drilling, etc. that is providing jobs to hard-working people.

Re:About bloody time! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45238891)

That's true, we should have drilling rigs in every back yard and school playground! I'm sure there is some oil under those Great Lakes as well. If only we could get rid of that pinko commie muslim non-American guy who keeps getting elected President!

Re:About bloody time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45238939)

Hey look some libtard who thinks I'm a Rethuglican voting Teabagger. Sorry to rock your peabrain, but I'm not.

Re:About bloody time! (1)

MerlynEmrys67 (583469) | about a year ago | (#45239029)

Don't know why ANYONE would vote for TweedleDee or TweedleDum. I mean really - different sides of the same coin. Frankly - if you are in office now - YOU are the problem and should be voted out. I have voted against every incumbent for the last 10 years and intend to continue to do the same thing until the radicals on BOTH sides realize there is a huge benefit for working together in the middle and get rid of these one party votes. Frankly - the fact that the republicans had to get enough votes in their own party to pass anything earlier this month because nancy pelosi wouldn't let any democrats vote was a waste. Means the republicans have to go more conservative instead of more liberal to attract democrat votes that they won't get.
The senate is a wreck - and frankly, I won't negotiate doesn't cut it as a president. If he can't deliver democrat votes in the house - he isn't worth it.

Re:About bloody time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45239075)

I don't vote either Rethuglican or Demoncrat so I fail to see how I'm the problem.

Re:About bloody time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45239221)

They've been drilling for gas (not sure about oil) under Lake Erie for thirty to forty years now. (My old dive buddy used to work on the rigs.)

The upstream Great Lakes are largely overlying shield rock (granite), not likely much oil there.

Re:About bloody time! (2)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about a year ago | (#45239177)

Obama must be a bad sabotager since oil and gas production have increased every year he's been President.

Re:About bloody time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45239241)

No he isnt, he is just a Black Bush...

Did you notice gas prices in the USA are still among record highs? Despite the increased production.. Furthermore, these are states increasing the production - not the federal government.. Nice try though.

Re:About bloody time! (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about a year ago | (#45239375)

Did you notice gas prices in the USA are still among record highs?

No. I have not noticed that because it's not remotely true. Have you been outside in 2013?

Re:About bloody time! (1)

war4peace (1628283) | about a year ago | (#45240219)

if one thinks oil prices are high in the States, he should come to Europe and drive around for a bit.

Re:About bloody time! (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year ago | (#45240631)

An American complaining about the high price of petrol, it would be funny if it wasn't so mind numbingly ignorant.

Re:About bloody time! (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about a year ago | (#45239287)

Right. Because of all his hard work out there roughnecking.

Or... the US isn't the USSR yet, and the government doesn't drive all aspects of life. Oil production is up because economics have created conditions where companies, landowners, and states have started exploiting more.

Re:About bloody time! (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about a year ago | (#45239335)

Did you read the parent post?

Re:About bloody time! (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#45239971)

Do you have a point? Because I'm seeing any contradictions in any of the posts to that point. Seems a pretty sane argument to this point by all parties concerned. The original poster claimed Obama was attempting to sabotage oil drilling. "Attempting" not "succeeding". To that, I'll note that he's obstructed off shore oil drilling and a pipeline from the northern US to the Gulf of Mexico. I believe that demonstrates intent, though we also have some people in the administration hostile to oil drilling and the like.

Then a replier to that noted that oil and natural gas production is up, which it is. The person you replied to noted that Obama doesn't actually have the power to stop oil and natural gas drilling just because he might want to. In support of that is fracking which has completely changed the oil game both economically and politically, allowing a large bunch of US oil to be extracted which was formerly not economically viable.

That huge gold mine creates politically powerful parties willing to defend their interests.

So I don't see that anyone is wrong here. They're all describing an aspect of the same phenomena, an out of touch administration more interested in ideological goals than in economic ones fighting a losing battle to prevent new oil drilling.

Re:About bloody time! (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about a year ago | (#45238761)

well beats exploiting pensioners in the EU and reneging on your debts eh :-)

Re:About bloody time! (1)

sugar and acid (88555) | about a year ago | (#45238987)

That's iceland. It's very easy to remember. Iceland is volcanic and least icy of the 2. Greenland is mostly icy white.

Re:About bloody time! (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about a year ago | (#45239339)

oops my bad

Re:About bloody time! (3, Informative)

mrchaotica (681592) | about a year ago | (#45239569)

Greenland is icy and Iceland is green.

(It's all the Vikings' fault -- those tricky bastards!)

Re:About bloody time! (1)

war4peace (1628283) | about a year ago | (#45240229)

I genuinely lol'd at this.

Re:About bloody time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45239009)

Exactly! Now spread your ass and let the world exploit it!

Re:About bloody time! (1)

war4peace (1628283) | about a year ago | (#45240241)

Is my ass a resource? like water? Would you drink it?
Well... have fun.

Re:About bloody time! (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#45239291)

I don't think anyone would disagree, I think the issue is probably a matter of which resources are valued higher: minerals in the ground or the ground above being pretty and useful for other things in the next few centuries.

Re:About bloody time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45239713)

"Resources exist to be consumed. And consumed they will be, if not by this generation then by some future. By what right does this forgotten future seek to deny us our birthright? None I say! Let us take what is ours, chew and eat our fill.

Yah, OK, Nwabudike, whatever you say. Watch out for that little kid with the red eyes, I hear he's got mindworms in his pocketses.

Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45238511)

All those radioactive miners can get back to work!

Uuuuuuuuuuuuuraaaaanium Fever!

Environmental groups (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45238517)

Will NEVER be 'happy'. So you can pretty much ignore them.

Re:Environmental groups (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#45239101)

*where "environmental groups" includes nutbag organizations like Greenpeace.**

**Which is always, apparently :-(

Re:Environmental groups (-1, Flamebait)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#45239351)

Particularly stupid given that Greenland has a population that lives exclusively on its coastline, so it depends on where that uranium would be found. If it's near the main populated centers, I could understand, but my guess is that Greenpeace would object no matter where.

Essentially, environmentalists are disguised Marxists, and like watermelons - green on the outside, red in the inside

Thinking Ahead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45238565)

"We cannot live with unemployment and cost of living increases while our economy is at a standstill. It is therefore necessary that we eliminate zero tolerance towards uranium now."

Just wait until you've got unemployment, cost of living increases, economic recession, AND radioactive waste that needs to be cleaned up.

Re:Thinking Ahead (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#45238733)

uranium mining makes low-level waste, not that big a deal

Re:Thinking Ahead (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#45238821)

well they can just move to other side of the island.

and clean up how? by dumping it into a volcano spewing the stuff out anyways?

Where is the story about today's Japan earthquake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45238575)

There is certainly no shortage of Fukushima stories on /. Why are they trying to hide this one?

Re:Where is the story about today's Japan earthqua (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45238693)

The same reason why Slashdot hides all the other breaking news: The Jewish Conspiracy.

Re:Where is the story about today's Japan earthqua (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45238893)

Foolish sheeple. The Jewish Conspiracy is just t here to distract us from aliens.

Maybe those environmental groups ... (4, Interesting)

Skapare (16644) | about a year ago | (#45238607)

... could arrange a couple billion dollars donation every year to the Greenland government to bring the bans back.

Re:Maybe those environmental groups ... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45238625)

Maybe they could create some of those "green jobs" we're always hearing about.

Re:Maybe those environmental groups ... (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#45240345)

They tried that in Greece, how's that economy doing these days anyway?

Re:Maybe those environmental groups ... (1)

Zynder (2773551) | about a year ago | (#45240531)

Regardless of how great Greece's economy may or may not be doing at this time, I don't think you can pin all of that on "green" jobs running amok. That's quite a claim you're making. Care to back it up?

Re:Maybe those environmental groups ... (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year ago | (#45239393)

Please don't give them ideas. They will "arrange" by lobbying for a "Keep Greenland Green" tax to be paid by the rest of the world to collect those billions.

Hazaa! (4, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year ago | (#45238679)

A country repealing environmental regulation made for a mythical world and replacing it for real world environmental concerns. The current process of mining rare earths in China is horrendously bad for the environment, however because of Greenpeace inspired laws almost no else would do it. Rare earths aren't rare, but environmental laws that actually have anything to do with the environment are.

It's time to put the rest of the Greenpeace inspired FUD laws about radiation and all other things nuclear out to the FUD farm where they belong. The laws were written for one purpose only, and that was to prevent anything relating to nuclear from ever being viable. It's idiots like these why an MRI doesn't use nuclear in the name even though that is what the technology is based on.

It's like the opposition to any form of Nuclear power or gas power plant, the net real world result was that for decades we built coal power plants instead. It's time to replace fear mongering with science and start to look out for the environment instead. Nuclear energy is the greenest form of energy we have, and it will remain so until Fusion is up and running.

Fukishima, Sellafield, 3 mile island (2)

wijnands (874114) | about a year ago | (#45238757)

Could all have been a loooong hazaa! As to this decision, Greenland was relatively unspoiled and few things spoil a country quicker than strip mining.

Re:Fukishima, Sellafield, 3 mile island (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45238843)

Yes, the current state of nuclear is like complaining about lead in the water supply, yet refusing to replace the lead pipes with plastic ones.

You'd rather kill them with coal? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45238853)

Coal has killed far more people than all nuclear events - accidental and intentional - combined. By a factor of 1.000.000.

Idiot.

Re:You'd rather kill them with coal? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45238997)

Why mark parent as troll? He's right (other than the "idiot" remark).

I'd love to see Thorium replace Uranium as a fuel source but I'd prefer to see the Gen. 1 and 2 nuclear reactors replaced with newer (safer) reactors instead of Greenpeace tarring everything with the same brush scaring the populace and leaving us with reactors past their best before date.

Instead of bitching here, how about working towards educating everybody with regards to the pros and cons of each and every option available to us? We need energy and we will need more of it in the world. How we get particular sources will determine how many wars are fought and by whom.

Re:Fukishima, Sellafield, 3 mile island (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#45238949)

there are other ways to mine uranium than strip mining. they don't have to do things the American (numb from the neck up) way

Re:Fukishima, Sellafield, 3 mile island (3, Informative)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year ago | (#45238995)

Wow, your going to go there, you picked about the worst cases you could. I could bother doing the same thing with coal and quickly show far worse pollution and death figures, but you can google that all by yourself. So let's take your worst case scenario and run with it (you have researched these things, right?). How many people were killed in these or all other nuclear related incidents? How much actual damage was done?

Now compare those numbers to your favorite form of green energy, how about windmills [yale.edu] ? Go on, google this and tell me how it compares. Why don't you compare pollution figures while your at it. Remember your windmills require the very [columbia.edu] rare earths that come from these types of mines.

Okay, now that you've bothered to do a bit of research scale your numbers of for world wide power and tell me what they would look like. You see, if strip mining is done in a place like Greenland they will bother with these pesky things called environment regulations. The Chinese don't do that and as a result they have cornered the market. You can't get rare earths from Unicorn farts and rainbows, you have to get them out of the ground. Better we do the mining, so that it can be done responsibly [time.com] .

Re:Fukishima, Sellafield, 3 mile island (1)

Lendrick (314723) | about a year ago | (#45239329)

In the long term, putting megatons of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is far more damaging than nuclear. At least with nuclear power, the accidents are localized. If we fuck up our atmosphere with too much CO2, the consequences will be global.

Re:Fukishima, Sellafield, 3 mile island (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45239477)

No it's not.

Re:Hazaa! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45238803)

Nuclear energy is the greenest form of energy we have

When they say "green energy", I don't think they meant "energy that makes you glow green".

Re:Hazaa! (3, Informative)

hypergreatthing (254983) | about a year ago | (#45238897)

He means the kind that pollutes the environment the least. Your solar panels are dirty to create, ditto on battery technology. Coal is one of the worst polluters because they just throw everything into the atmosphere. There is no clean up costs yet everyone pays for it.
Nuclear is the most viable. Even with ever nuclear disaster that has ever occurred including testing and bombing, it has harmed less people than coal. You're literally burning millions of tons of crap into the atmosphere. Also coal is partially radioactive. Since it's so hard to correlate as a causation, it's hard to put a number on direct linkages to lung cancer, but i'm sure it doesn't help.

Re:Hazaa! (1)

cusco (717999) | about a year ago | (#45240537)

Not everything goes up into the atmosphere, don't forget the enormous mountains of fly ash and clinkers that have to be disposed of as well.

Re:Hazaa! (2, Informative)

Solandri (704621) | about a year ago | (#45240761)

I asked myself how much waste is generated to, say, run my house for 30 years. It turns out to be about a train car full of coal vs a bit more than a tablespoon of nuclear waste. The spent fuel production of the entire U.S. is about two tractor trailers full per year. (And that's without reprocessing.) The amount goes up if you include low-level waste like irradiated concrete and steel. But that's stuff you can bury for a couple hundred years and it'll be safe.

I did a similar calc for nuclear vs. wind. Yes a single wind turbine looks more attractive and is cheaper than a nuclear plant, and safer to maintain. But people fail to realize that to equal the power output of an AP1000 nuclear reactor (1154 MW * 0.9 capacity factor = 1036.8 MW average output), you'd need over 4700 MW worth of wind turbines (4700 MW * 0.22 capacity factor, which is the world average for 2011 = 1034). I was gonna re-do the calcs for all to see but while search for wind turbine tonnage I found a site where someone's already done it [blogspot.com] . The numbers led him to the same conclusion as me: For the same power output, nuclear is simply better than wind or solar - in terms of steel and concrete use, carbon emissions, cost, and safety.

Wait, so why Uranium? (1)

rsborg (111459) | about a year ago | (#45238929)

The current process of mining rare earths in China is horrendously bad for the environment, however because of Greenpeace inspired laws almost no else would do it. Rare earths aren't rare, but environmental laws that actually have anything to do with the environment are.

Why didn't Greenland just amend the legislation to remove rare earths from the ban? Or put in place a gradual effort to also mine uranium?

My guess: Rare Earths are a red herring. The real issue is uranium mining, which would have never passed, but because of "rare earths" and "scary China" and "jobs!!!" the extraction industry got exactly what they wanted - sensible sounding repeal, hiding their intentions to pull up lucrative but environmentally damaging uranium mining.

Look for massive contributions to reelection funds (aka bribes) for the legislative members who happened to support the full repeal. In fact, bribery could be as subtle as market timing information letting those individuals (or their family members) profit massively from external markets.

Re:Wait, so why Uranium? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45239427)

My guess: Uranium is a red herring, and you are clueless. But why jabber inane rantings like a lib when facts are more fun!

http://www.mineralprices.com/

Uranium (metal) $77.55/Kg

Neodymium (metal) $98.00/Kg
Erbium (metal) $275.00/Kg
Scandium (metal) 15,500.00/Kg

And if the price of Uranium shoots up then all the US mines that closed due to poor pricing can reopen and stabilize the price.

Re:Wait, so why Uranium? (1)

cusco (717999) | about a year ago | (#45240549)

The rare earths and the uranium occur together. No reason to not extract both. Red herrings aren't necessary.

Re:Hazaa! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45238935)

If you think MRI uses the same technology as Nuclear Power, you need to learn more about MRI since it uses magnets, not radiation. What is true is that the word "Nuclear" was taken away from its name to avoid confusion, but that "Nuclear" was for atomic nuclei which are influenced by the magnetic field.

Re:Hazaa! (1)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year ago | (#45239039)

The point is that the FUD has become so think about anything Nuclear that even something as benign as an MRI had to renamed to remove the word Nuclear. It's an example to illustrate just how bad the FUD has gotten.

*N*MRI (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45239079)

No, "Nuclear" was taken out of the name of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging because of fear and marketing. The smear campaign put on by Greentards made the mere use of the word "Nuclear" unacceptable to most Consumorons, regardless of the actual meaning.

So the poster was correct in that "N" was removed from NMR and it became MRI because of ignorant fucks.

Re:*N*MRI (1)

tbird81 (946205) | about a year ago | (#45239285)

I thought NMR was the technology included MRI, but didn't necessarily involve imaging. (For instance finding rates of metabolism.) MRI uses NMR to produce images.

Re:Hazaa! (2)

sugar and acid (88555) | about a year ago | (#45239211)

The original term "Nuclear Magnetic resonance" was used as it made a distinction between the technique that analysed the atomic nucleus and the similar form that analysed the state of the electron orbitals (Electron paramagnetic resonance, or electron spin resonance).

When NMR chemical analysis technology move to Magnetic resonance imaging, the distinction was to separate the technique from true medical radiation imaging techniques. Up to that point much of medical imaging involved xrays, which IS ionizing radiation and does do real harm with sufficient exposure.

Putting "nuclear" into the name just would have undermined the key advantage of MRI scanning in the public eye. And as sales people say, if you are explaining such a technical nuance you are losing the battle.

The naming of MRI is a good piece of positive scientific marketing. Making sure the technique is not confused in the public perception with ionizing radiation imaging techniques.

 

Re:Hazaa! (2)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year ago | (#45239117)

FUD laws about radiation and all other things nuclear out to the FUD farm where they belong.

I know it's the popular internet "groupthink" to assume radiation poisoning/fallout/exposure is all BS because independent studies [theage.com.au] on the Fukishama disaster show nobody has died from it. A word of caution: radiation induced cancers can take a long time to develop [wikipedia.org] . 40 years in some cases. That's long enough to completely screw up the planet for the course of your lifetime and many of your descendents lifetimes. Nuclear energy's biggest problem is that it leaves no room for error - and humans are full of error. There is no tenable way right now to make these energy facilities idiot proof when greed, corruption and power are in charge of the safety.

Re:Hazaa! (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about a year ago | (#45239315)

The current process of mining rare earths in China is horrendously bad for the environment, however because of Greenpeace inspired laws almost no else would do it.

The Mountain Pass mine in California produced a majority of the world's rare earth minerals in the 80s. Then China got into the game and since they didn't have the added costs associated with environmental or worker safety regulations, they undercut the price of every other mine and put them out of business.

Since China started limiting exports of their rare earth elements, the Mountain Pass mine is being reopened. I drove past it last week and there are at least 100 cars in the parking lot. It's on the north side of I-15 between LA and Vegas.

Re:Hazaa! (1)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year ago | (#45239635)

I had heard they were trying to reopen it, but haven't heard it was successful. It's a good step in the right direction for components that are vitally necessary for modern society. Hopefully this time they wont be shut down as easily by price competition from Chinese companies that don't have to worry about environmental regulations.

Double Hazaa! (3, Informative)

TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) | about a year ago | (#45239561)

ON RARE EARTH ELEMENTS

A Rare Earth Element revival in the United States could help to bring industry and real manufacturing back to our shores. It goes right along with the promise of Thorium to satisfy all grid and process heat requirements: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG1YjDdI_c8 [youtube.com]

Here Stephen Boyd tells us what "rare earth elements" are, and why they are vital to modern technology: He is incredibly hyper and excited about them, as you should be. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J16IpITWBQ8 [youtube.com]

While everyone is talking about China 'Western industry through its aggressive focus on manufacturing and 'low wages'... there is ANOTHER way China has become almost a 'sole source' of modern technology: it has negotiated exclusive manufacturing contracts based on its willingness to mine rare earths, yet not export them without a penalty ... this has caused production of electronics and magnet-oriented devices (think batteries, wind turbines) to be relocated to China. Meanwhile the United States, once the world's largest producer of these has mostly ceased -- in part because a slightly radioactive by-product, Thorium, presently has no market and is (unfairly IMO) lumped in with hazardous. More background and some ideas for using the Thorium here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MauEg9vqh9k [youtube.com]

ON URANIUM

Love it or hate it, if you're in North America ~30% of your electricity comes from it. The worst uranium mining nightmares arose from a Cold War appetite for nuclear weapons and a government that abused its authority and brand of secrecy to sideline health and environmental consequences... not the smaller level of mining necessary to keep nuclear power reactors going.

Clearly some thinking needs to be changed.

Humans are Locusts (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | about a year ago | (#45238785)

We're locusts. We exhaust the available resources until they are no more.

Re:Humans are Locusts (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#45238967)

bullshit, we're not close to exhausting anything. not helium, not fossil fuel, not "rare earths".

Re:Humans are Locusts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45239021)

So resources should just be left alone, so they can be there in their own peace, unused, unutilised, sure.

Re:Humans are Locusts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45240569)

Well that means you're a locust too. So go ahead and do us all a favor, stop exhausting those resources, die the fuck off from starvation and then there will be more for the rest of us. How does that sound?

What a minute... (0)

pspahn (1175617) | about a year ago | (#45238797)

Whoa whoa whoa... hold on...

Greenland has a prime minister and a parliament?

Re:What a minute... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45238813)

Yes, just like how your mom services 50 men a day by taking it in the pooper to buy your Cheetos and Totino's pizza rolls.

Re:What a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45239147)

It is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, so yes
But since exporting uranium has to do with security and foreign policy I believe Denmark under the current agreements have the final say
and if they start making enough money the ~500M euro they get in support from Denmark each year will be reduced

Not Staggering (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45238811)

"Staggeringly close" would have been 14.9 to 13.1.

15 to 14 is just close.

Re:Not Staggering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45238937)

WTF are you on about? 13.1 to 14.9 is a difference of 1.8. 14 to 15 is a difference of 1.0. What are you smoking?

Pivotal argument in parliamentary debate (5, Funny)

sideslash (1865434) | about a year ago | (#45238867)

"Do you want me to send you back to where you WERE? UNEMPLOOOOOYED IN GREEEEENLAND [youtube.com] ???!!!"

Pedantic Bitch (2)

Ian A. Shill (2791091) | about a year ago | (#45238881)

Sorry, no stagger. Where I come from a staggeringy close vote is something like 14.6-14.4.

Yesterday's parliamentary vote passed the decision by a staggeringly close 15-14 votes.

I'm running short of cash... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45238927)

Time to abandon my principles as soon as possible.

Life on the streets isn't so bad.

Re:I'm running short of cash... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45239373)

When you have principles that are stupid, abandoning them is a good strategy.

If only North Carolina would follow their lead... (3, Insightful)

rgbatduke (1231380) | about a year ago | (#45239099)

...and open up thorium mining in the western part of the state, ideally while pushing hard for LFTR or other thorium based meltdown proof non-pressurized-vessel nuclear. NC alone could supply the entire energy needs of the US for the next 17,000 years, according to one assessment I've read, while yes, producing lots of rare-earth metals. Currently they don't mine the rare earths because the admixed Thorium is viewed as toxic waste!

Yeah, the most valuable toxic waste in the world.

rgb

Re:If only North Carolina would follow their lead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45239863)

Citation please.

and I have a miraculous car that gets 200 miles to the gallon (http://www.snopes.com/autos/business/carburetor.asp)

Re:If only North Carolina would follow their lead. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45240615)

I have a miraculous car that gets 200 miles to the gallon (http://www.snopes.com/autos/business/carburetor.asp)

Your citation says that you do NOT have a miraculous car! And right after calling dude out for not citing anything. You AC's suck these days ya know!

Re:If only North Carolina would follow their lead. (1, Funny)

cusco (717999) | about a year ago | (#45240625)

If you think the rare earth mines in China are environmentally bad, just imagine how bad that operation would be run in North Carolina.

Just saying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45239451)

Environmental groups, as you might expect, are not happy...

Oh? Good!

Users (3, Funny)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a year ago | (#45239781)

Environmental groups, as you might expect, are not happy."

Probably posting about it on the lithium battery powered laptops or phones.

Choosing not to decline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45240097)

Decline is a choice. Apparently Greenland choses not to accept decline.

Meanwhile, back in the Romper Room, the EPA and the pressure groups have killed off [stltoday.com] our last lead smelting operation. Doubtless they'll pack up everything except the scrubbers, move it all to China and operate with impunity. The net effect on the environment? Vastly greater damage.

Print faster Ben.

really broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45240223)

the only resource we can really destroy. until our sun red dwarfs, gobbles up the radioactive waste and re fusions it back up the size ladder...
with oil and coal we just have to wait a few million years for the carbon dioxide to fallout as it, thanks to water-loving crystals, aka "life".
anway, who cares. documents get signed, mining equipment bought and girlfriends, mansions and cars are going to change hands, all in the name of sustainable living ... in the wrong place.
why build a monument that falls apart or can be destroyed by wars, if you can destroys atoms which feat will be detectable for aeons to come? best! monument! ever!

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