moratorium on uranium mining were to be lifted, as well as providing information about best practices—applicable over the full uranium extraction life cycle—that are available to mitigate these potential issues.
If the Commonwealth of Virginia rescinds the existing moratorium on uranium mining, there are steep hurdles to be surmounted before mining and/or processing could be established within a regulatory environment that is appropriately protective of the health and safety of workers, the public, and the environment. There is only limited experience with modern underground and open-pit uranium mining and processing practices in the wider United States, and no such experience in Virginia. At the same time, there exist internationally accepted best practices, founded on principles of openness, transparency, and public involvement in oversight and decision making, that could provide a starting point for the Commonwealth of Virginia were it to decide that the moratorium should be lifted. After extensive scientific and technical briefings, substantial public input, reviewing numerous documents, and extensive deliberations, the committee is convinced that the adoption and rigorous implementation of such practices would be necessary if uranium mining, processing, and reclamation were to be undertaken in the Commonwealth of Virginia.