Public perception of uranium mining is largely based on the poor, unregulated practices of the industry's earliest days. But the industry has learned from its past, and modern practices and regulatory regimes have transformed uranium mining into one of the most highly regulated and safest forms of mining in the world today, writes Robert Vance.
Although prospects for the global growth of nuclear generating capacity have declined somewhat since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident in 2011, overall they remain good. New uranium mines will thus be needed to meet the increased demand for the uranium that accompanies such growth. However, in many countries, negative perceptions of uranium mining based on the legacies of past practices linger, and a lack of awareness of present-day mining practices and the management of mining impact can hinder the development of additional mines.