In his Jan. 6 Local Opinions commentary, “There’s no need for Virginia to take chances with uranium,” Ryke Longest argued unconvincingly to continue the ban on uranium mining in Virginia. To bolster his case, he cited two spills at “uranium-mining sites” in New Mexico and Oklahoma.
There was a spill at Church Rock, N.M., but Gore, Okla., is not a uranium-mining site. It hosts a plant that converts uranium shipped from uranium mining and milling facilities to uranium hexafluoride, which then goes to an enrichment facility for further processing before being made into reactor fuel.
There was a spill at Gore on Jan. 4, 1986, but this was a uranium hexafluoride spill and had nothing to do with uranium mining.
Bill Teer, Fairfax