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Quotable quotes about uranium

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 

"About two-thirds of the uranium in the United States is on indigenous lands. On a worldwide scale, about 70 percent of the uranium is either in Aboriginal lands in Australia or up in the Subarctic of Canada, where native people are still fighting uranium mining."

‒ Winona LaDuke.1

"The Government would not listen and forced the Ranger uranium mine on us, but the old people were right and today we are dealing with everything they were worried about."

‒ Yvonne Margarula, Mirarr Senior Traditional Owner, Northern Territory, Australia.

"I believe this uranium business will give the Anglo-Saxons such tremendous power that Europe will become a bloc under Anglo-Saxon domination. If that is the case, it will be a very good thing. I wonder whether Stalin will be able to stand up to the others as he has done in the past."

‒ German nuclear physicist Werner Heisenberg, August 1945.2

"The brutal truth is that no one has yet managed to work out a way of getting nuclear reactors to burn uranium as effectively as they burn money."
‒ Tom Burke, 2005.3

"Uranium is the raw material of a power-elite who has taken Mother Earth's every living creature hostage."

‒ The late Petra Kelly, German Green Party.

"We extract ... uranium from the formation and send it to atomic reactors, so we are actually purifying the subsoil from heavy metals."

‒ Kazatomprom manager Kalilallo Baytasov, 2013.4

"This is like a water clean up project, and we are going to sell the by-product on."

‒ Powertech manager Mark Hollenbeck on the Dewey-Burdock ISL uranium project in South Dakota.5

"We're taking the uranium out of the ground, we're exporting it to be used for productive purposes, so we should be getting a medal for cleaning up the environment."

‒ Neville Huxham, Paladin Energy Africa, operator of the Kayelekera uranium mine, 2009.6

"Mining is a 24 hour operation and cannot be stopped as a result of a shortage of available dust masks."

‒ Johan De Bruin, geology superintendent at Paladin's Kayelekera uranium mine in Malawi, 2010.7

"The beauty of the uranium product and nuclear waste is that you can put your hands around it, you can control it and you can manage it."

‒ Brian Reilly, Minerals Council of Australia, November 2016.8

Weapons and War

"Again and again it has been demonstrated here and overseas that when problems over safeguards prove difficult, commercial considerations will come first."

– Former South Australian Premier Mike Rann, 1982.9

"You can guarantee that mining uranium will lead to nuclear waste. You can't guarantee that uranium mining will not lead to nuclear weapons."

– Anthony Albanese, Australian Labor Party MP, 2006.10

"For eight years in the White House, every weapons-proliferation problem we dealt with was connected to a civilian reactor program. And if we ever got to the point where we wanted to use nuclear reactors to back out a lot of coal ... then we'd have to put them in so many places we'd run that proliferation risk right off the reasonability scale. And we'd run short of uranium, unless they went to a breeder cycle or something like it, which would increase the risk of weapons-grade material being available."

‒ Former US Vice President Al Gore, 2006.11

"The splitting of the atom has changed everything save our mode of thinking, and therefore we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe. The solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker."

– Albert Einstein, 1946.12


"A minerals exploration company is trying to position itself to become Australia's first legal medicinal marijuana grower."

‒ ABC, April 2015. The share price of uranium explorer Capital Mining doubled following the announcement.13

"In Western Australia, United Uranium, which holds several uranium exploration licences, has decided to get out of uranium exploration and instead focus on property development. The company said its strategic review "underlined a consistent theme, that junior resource companies and in particular uranium focussed companies, are currently 'unloved' by the investment community"."

‒ Mining Australia, 2014.14

"As investors try to predict what will happen next, analysts at RBC Capital Markets are advising clients to go overweight on fertilizer equities and underweight on uranium and precious metals equities in the fourth quarter."

‒ Financial Post, 2014.15

"Until now inveterate fraudsters, even convicted heroin traffickers, have happily promoted their floats on the [Australian Stock Exchange]. ... Until now, the same promoters have beaten a path back to the market − decade in, decade out − pouncing on every fad, boom and bubble. That they haven't been required to disclose their myriad failures − before "backdoor listing" the likes of a "uranium" asset into a nickel explorer's shell, itself born from a dotcom play, having emerged from the ruins of a biotechnology float − has played nicely into the hands of the promoters, brokers, lawyers, accountants and other capital markets fee-takers."

‒ Journalist Michael West, 2011.16

Uranium industry downturn

"[L]ess clued-up people continue to buy uranium penny dreadfuls rather than do something sensible, like bet the house (the wife and the kids) on the horse carrying the jockey wearing pink polka dots in the fourth at Ascot next Saturday."

‒ The West Australian, October 2005.17

"[T]he uranium industry is definitely in crisis, I believe, and is showing all the symptoms of a mid-term paralysis if this situation does not demonstrably change."

‒ [Then] Paladin Energy chief executive John Borshoff, November 2013.18

"[Uranium] is the worst-performing mined commodity this year."

‒ Wall Street Journal, July 2016.19

"Uranium executives radiate sunny optimism at the start of each year when pitching their new project. This then disappears by the summer ... This time even that optimism has gone. All the executives I spoke to looked about as miserable as England football fans in the second week of a major tournament. What's to be done? Can this ever change? There is so much potential, but we never perform, why can't we be put out of our misery? Is it Wayne Rooney's fault?"

‒ RFC Ambrian, September 2016.20

"[U]ranium bulls know how Moses felt when he was destined to wander forty years in the desert and never get to see the Promised Land."

‒ Christopher Ecclestone, March 2016.21

"There is too much of nearly every commodity in the world today. Then there is uranium. The outlook for the element that powers nuclear reactors may be worse than for any other, and there is almost no prospect for improvement soon. Unlike other commodities, low prices won't stimulate demand. No commodity faces the unique pressure that uranium and nuclear fuel do and there is little prospect of a near-term recovery."

‒ Wall Street Journal, September 2016.22

"It has never been a worse time for uranium miners."

‒ Alexander Molyneux, CEO of Paladin Energy.23

"The days of nuclear power based upon uranium-based fission are coming to a close because the fear of nuclear proliferation, the reality of nuclear waste and the difficulty of managing it have proven too difficult over time."

‒ Former Shell executive John Hofmeister.24

"There has indeed been a nuclear winter verging on an Ice Age over the last few years with bad news heaped upon bad news within the context of a pretty dismal financing situation for mining all around. ... The yellow mineral had made fools and liars of many in recent years, including ourselves."

‒ Christopher Ecclestone / Hallgarten & Company, 2014.25

"What gets us excited and what gets us out of bed in the morning are the long-term fundamentals of the uranium market."

‒ Brian Reilly, Minerals Council of Australia, November 2016.8

(Compiled by Nuclear Monitor.)





4. Christian Science Monitor, 28 Aug 2013,

5. 5. Mark Hollenbeck / Powertech, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, 5 Apr. 2010.

6. IPS, 24 Aug 2009.

7. Nyasa Times, 25 Sept. 2010.


9. Mike Rann, 1982, 'Uranium: Play It Safe'.

10. Quoted in the New York Times, 2 Aug 2006, page A9.

11. David Roberts, 10 May 2006, 'An interview with accidental movie star Al Gore',



14. Vicky Validakis, 6 June, 2014, 'Price collapse sees junior miner ditch uranium to focus on property development',

15. Peter Koven, 1 Oct 2014, 'Buy fertilizer stocks, don't buy uranium and precious metals: RBC',

16. Michael West, 16 April 2011, 'Not just another crackdown',

17. Tim Treadgold, 20 Oct 2005, 'Briefcase - Smart money takes leave of uranium', The West Australian,

18. 2 Nov 2013,

19. Rhiannon Hoyle and Mayumi Negishi, 31 July 2016, 'Japan Nuclear-Power Jitters Weigh on Global Uranium Market',

20. RFC Ambrian, 16 Sep 2016, 'In the news: The Nuclear Industry',

21. Christopher Ecclestone, 22 March 2016, 'Uranium ‒ Waiting for Godot or Forging Ahead?',

22. Spencer Jakab, 18 Sept. 2016, 'Uranium Investments Grow Radioactive', Wall Street Journal,

23. Geert De Clercq, 3 Oct 2016, 'Desperate uranium miners switch to survival mode despite nuclear rebound',

24. Pia Akerman, 7 Oct 2013, 'Ex-Shell boss issues nuclear call', The Australian,

25. Christopher Ecclestone, 10 Nov 2014, 'Ecclestone on NexGen Energy – A Survivor of the Nuclear Winter',