Energy: Nuclear Rock

With oil supplies uncertain, uranium mining heats up

Eight hundred miles north of Montana, in upper Saskatchewan, sprawls a land of vast evergreen forests laced with lakes and streams, windblown sand ridges--and the world's richest deposits of uranium. From this Canadian wilderness, centered on the Athabasca Basin, fully a quarter of the world's annual supply of uranium is unearthed, most of it from a single mine called McArthur River. In a world increasingly concerned about the flow and price of oil from the Middle East, demand for the mine's controversial product is quietly rising.

McArthur River isn't much to look at from above ground--just a cluster of green, corrugated-metal...

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