Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Uranium concentration north of Grand Canyon likely related to natural sources

The U.S. Geological Survey just released a report indicating that elevated uranium concentration in spring water north of Grand Canyon is NOT the result of nearby uranium mining activity. Elevated concentrations are instead likely due to natural sources and not to past mining at the nearby Pigeon Mine.

From the news release:

‘Pigeon Spring had elevated uranium levels in recent samples from 2012-2014 (73-92 micrograms per liter), compared to other perched springs in the same drainage area (2.7–18 micrograms per liter), and was proportionally elevated in samples collected prior to mining operations at the nearby Pigeon Mine.’

“It’s important to use science to understand the potential for mining impacts on water resources,” said Kimberly Beisner, USGS scientist and lead author of the study. “These results are the first step in understanding if uranium mining in the area may have any impact on water resources; in this case we determined those impacts are not likely at Pigeon Spring. These findings will help inform future studies to understand mining impacts in the region.”

Image: Pigeon Mine of northern Arizona. Photo by Don Bills USGS) 
Posted on 1/25/2017 MC

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