News and Events of the Bering Strait School District
Sunday February 18th 2018


Elim Uranium Mine Student Blog

Student Letter to Governor Palin

To Governor Palin:

I’m writing to inform you on our situation, and why we don’t want it to happen. I am writing to inform you on our situation with the Triex company mining on our land for uranium. I am going to give you the information on it and the effects.

As you know uranium is a hard, silver-white, radioactive metal. It can react with cold water. In air it is coated by uranium oxide, corrupting rapidly. Steam and acids attack it. Uranium can form solid solutions and intermetallic compounds with many of the metals. Although uranium is radioactive, it is not particularly rare. It is widely spread throughout the environment and so it is impossible to shun uranium. Well on with the health effects.

People always experience exposure to a certain amount of uranium from food, air, soil and water, as it is naturally present in all these components. Food, such as root vegetables, and water will provide us with small amounts of natural uranium and we will breathe in minimal concentrations of uranium with air. The concentrations of it in seafood are usually so low that they can be safely ignored. Because uranium is a radioactive substance health effects have been researched. Scientists have detected no harmful radiation effects of natural levels of uranium. However, chemical effects may occur after the uptake of large amounts of it and these can cause health effects such as kidney disease. It can also ruin your reproductive system, give you cancer (including leukemia), and ruin your ecosystem.

Uranium will effect our air, water, animals, fish, everything. If you take out one thing or even change it a little in the ecosystem everything else will be affected by it too. While uranium itself is not particularly dangerous, some of its decay products do pose a threat, especially radon, which can build up in confined spaces such as basements. Uranium in air exists as dust that will fall into surface water, on plants or on soils through settling or rainfall. Water containing low amounts of uranium is usually safe to drink. Because of its nature, uranium is not likely to build up in fish or vegetables and uranium that is absorbed will be abolished quickly through urine and feces. We don’t want them to drill or mine where it will affect our land, animals, rivers, fish, etc. We depend on subsistence more than store bought because the prices here are ridiculous. Its like we need to be really rich to live here.

Anyway in conclusion we are against having Triex drill at Boulder Creek. I wanted to know what are you going to do about it to help us. There are a lot of other places they can mine it. I don’t want my future babies to be deformed. Thanks.

Irene Murray
Want to find out about the mine that is affecting Elim, Koyuk, Golovin, and White Mountain areas. Visit our student blog at More information will be coming as we prepare for our open house today.