Northern Valley Beacon

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Maybe Homestake can be our Deep Underground Landfill

Homestake National Landfill

  1. Two things lost the support of scientists for converting the Homestake Goldmine in the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory:

***Barrick Gold Corp. holding the mine for ransom to be relieved of liability for any environmental liabilities the mine has accrued--and filling it up with water when the state did not come up with the ransom fast enough.

***The promotion of the research lab as an economic development project. (Scientists do not think a bunch of chamber of commerce idiots running around the place will engender much science.)

The governor has the idea of turning the mine into a lab before the National Science Foundation makes a decision on whether to designate Homestake or the Henderson Mine 50 miles west of Denver as the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory. He is going around the state giving information sessions. He will be in Aberdeen at noon next Tuesday at the Ramada Inn to generate support for about $22 million he wants.

The Aberdeen American News, rising to its standards of bad journalism and bad writing, devoted an editorial today to promoting the Homestake scheme. It suggests that citizens submit questions and letters of support. Here are questions.

The National Science Foundation has granted $500,000 to H0mestake--and a like amount to the Henderson Mine--to develop the plans for converting the mine into a laboratory.

How does the NSF planning fit into the state's plans to develop the lab independent of the NSF? Huh? Huh?

What if the state develops the lab but the NSF designation goes to Henderson? What major experiments and projects would come to Homestake? Why would they come there if another site has the NSF endorsement?

Just what terms are in the agreement with Barrick Gold, which looks at the state as an open shaft in which to stick its----well, you know--but why is the state submitting to so much jerking around from Barrick Gold?

What environmental clean-up would Barrick be held liable for if the state does not take charge of the site?

Why is there so much discussion of putting satellite industries around Homestake when the purpose is to do science that will yield information--information which might not have any commercial applications? Do these economic promoters think there is a market for dark matter, neutrinos, and decaying protons in the tourist traps of the Black Hills?

Does the state hope to recoup the money it had to pay out for reneging on a huge waste disposal site by turning Homestake into an underground landfill?

Just how does the thinking fit into the facts of situation?


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