Research Article

Energy Sprawl or Energy Efficiency: Climate Policy Impacts on Natural Habitat for the United States of America

  • Robert I. McDonald mail,


    Affiliation: Worldwide Office, The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, Virginia, United States of America

  • Joseph Fargione,

    Affiliation: Central Region, The Nature Conservancy, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America

  • Joe Kiesecker,

    Affiliation: Rocky Mountain Region, The Nature Conservancy, Fort Collins, Colorado, United States of America

  • William M. Miller,

    Affiliation: Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, United States of America

  • Jimmie Powell

    Affiliation: Worldwide Office, The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, Virginia, United States of America

  • Published: August 26, 2009
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006802

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Need for Information on Full Impacts of Nuclear Fuel Cycle in US

Posted by Sarah_Fields on 07 Oct 2010 at 15:37 GMT

The responses to my earlier comment still do not provide information on the full land use impacts of the nuclear fuel cycle in the United States. This would include uranium mining and milling, in-situ leach uranium recovery, disposal of all nuclear waste from the dismantling of nuclear reactors, long-term disposal of spent fuel, chemical conversion of uranium, isotopic enrichment of uranium, and fabrication of uranium fuel, and disposal of depleted uranium and other types of waste from the conversion, enrichment, and fuel fabrication processes. The United States does not have the large uranium mines that are found in Canada and Australia.

Unfortunately, there has been a lack of research on the land use impacts of the nuclear fuel cycle and uranium mining over time for the US. Much of the uranium mining has occurred on federal lands subject to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), yet there has been no programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), nor site-specific EIS that has addressed the cumulative impacts of uranium mining in any section of the US where uranium mining has occurred and where impacts continue today, as would be expected under NEPA.

Competing interests declared: I have an interest in the availability of complete and accurate information regarding the land use impacts related to nuclear energy development, as the Program Director of Uranium Watch, an organization involved in activities for protection from the impact of uranium mining, uranium milling, and nuclear waste disposal.