Uranium mining in the US spanned a period from the end of World War II into the 1980 s. The legacy of this mining was illness and death for thousands of workers along with thousands of abandoned mines. Compensation programs for former workers and their heirs as well as remediation efforts for the contaminated sites appear to have cost well over $5 billion US dollars, which may exceed the value of the uranium ore extracted. Most of the cost has been born by the taxpayers to date, although a recent settlement will require one of the private companies to pay about $1 billion US dollars for uranium site remediation. The history suggests that there are likely to also be externalized costs from present-day uranium mining, especially in developing countries where regulation is less stringent.
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- The externalized costs of uranium mining in the United States
Yi Qi Lu