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December 11, 1977 - Image 15

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-12-11
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The Michigan Daily-Sunday, Dec

Page 6-Sunday, December 11, 1977--The Michigan Daily

(Continued from Page 5)
Leaching is good because it is what
causes uranium deposits in the first
place, according to many geologists. A
major reason the U.P. has become the
target of uranium exploration is that its
western end contains a combination of
sandstones and phosphates which are
favorable to concentrated "leached"
uranium deposits.
But leaching can also be bad if buried
tailings are "leached" by groundwater
and reach the general water supply.
"You have no assurance you're not
going to contaminate the groundwater
in a major way," Sagady claimed.

"Groundwater is very mobile stuff."
Industry officials feel environmental
impacts connected with mining should
be considered only after ore is
discovered. Allan Mullins, Chief of
TVA's Nuclear Raw Materials Branch,
says TVA is providing an "ongoing en-
vironmental assessment of activities,"
but will not submit an Environmental
Impact Statement (EIS) during the ex-
ploration phase.
quire an EIS before any digging
on state lands, but added that


(Continued from Page 5)
originally anticipated due to delays
propagated by budgetary problems and
ensuing inflation.
Edison Co. officials call it "normal
inflation." PIRGIM officials call it
"inefficient and poor mangagement"
on the part of-the utility.
Detroit Edison justifies spending
large initial sums of money because, it
maintains, the fuel costs for nuclear
energy are cheaper, making it less ex-
pensive for their customers in the long
"It's like paying a high price for a car
that gets (better) mileage, rathet' than
paying a low price for a car that gets
(worse) mileage," Harris explains.
Still, the arguments plod on and little
is resolved by the Public Service Com-
mission (PSC), responsible for protec-
ting the public interest, which adds to
the dissatisfaction of consumer groups.
Meanwhile, electric bills continue to
Frustrated consumers last October

the effort everyone was making at the
time to conserve energy."
the way, went to support Inglis
House, a semi-palatial resi-
dence on Regent's Drive that houses
University guests like Jerry Ford.
Consumer skepticism about Detroit
Edison's advertising program,
however, baffles company officials.
"What more do you expect us to do?,"
asked one, "pull switches on people?
That's not what they want."
PIRGIM and MCUE also are em-
phasizing conservation, but clearly feel
that legislative cures are needed in ad-
dition to curtail the growth of an expen-
sive nuclear industry fraught, they say,
with hidden costs that have never been
accurately calculated.
SINCE NUCLEAR power plants the
size of Fermi II have proven
to be less productive than ex-
pected, the Edison customer, according

much of the responsibility for mining
regulation lies with the federal gover-
"It's a federal field," he said, "and
until responsibility is delegated there's
not a hell of a lot you can do." Tucker's
primary concern now is the drafting of
the new minerals lease, and he is sen-
sitive to industry complaints that the
state bureaucracy is responsible for the
long delay in achieving a final draft.
"There's very little difference bet-
ween the bureaucracy of a corporation
and the bureaucracy of a state," Tur-
ner asserted. "I don't give a damn if it's
Ford Motor Company or Kerr-McGee,
or the Department of Natural Resour-
ces, there's a great deal of similarity.
"The difference is that in one case
they're responsible to the public and in
the other to their stockholders and
board of directors . . . (we) have a
larger constituency to consider"
In addition to those concerned with
radiation and those who feel the state
should tighten up its leasing policies,
some environmental groups oppose ex-
ploration because they oppose nuclear
power in general. Sagady said his group
does not.
"We're not prepared to say there
shouldn't be uranium mining," he ex-
plained. "We have very serious doubts
about whether uranium can be mined in
an environmentally safe manner."
Sagady said Environmental Action
would have been involved even if the
issue had been ordinary minerals ex-
ploration, but conceded that concern
over uranium probably drew more
people into the lobbying effort.
The exploration companies are
generally confident about a future
based on nuclear energy. According to
TVA's Mullins, "Any mineral or fuel
resource is finite. The problem is in the
estimation of the total amount of fuel
available. We are confident.that there
will be sufficient coal and uranium to
meet the Nation's Qeeds well into the
next century."
"Nuclear energy is a thing of the
future, one way or another," said Kerr-
McGee spokesman Pat Pietre, "and
we're just expanding into new areas."
Other prospectors have doubts.
"When I was in school, uranium and
fusion were going to be the saviors of
the future," recalled Jack Van Alstine,
A DNR geologist who supervises two
DNR rigs drilling for uranium north of
Marquette under a program funded by
the Energy Research and Development
Administration (ERDA).
"They haven't been able to do fusion
even in the lab. . . and all the uranium
we had coming out our rear ends years
ago just isn't there, or hasn't been
proven to be there," he said.
HETHER THE U.P. actually
has commercially useable
uranium deposits is anybody's
guess, and all the prospectors currently
wintering in and around Marquette can
probably agree with Van Alstine when

he says "It's either here or it isn't.
Nature took care of that years ago."
For Kerr-McGee, Chevron, TVA, and
other energy companies, upper
Michigan is only a small part of the ex-
ploration pie-compared to other areas
of the country, Michigan is a small in-
vestment. For TVA, that investment
must pay off soon. The power agency
would not comment on the future
operations of the exploration group to
which it belongs, but that group is sub-
ject to the terms of the lease signed
with Ford Motor Co., which owns the
land under exploration. That lease
stipulates payments of $1 per acre per
year, but after 1980 the payments in-
crease $1 per acre per year every year.
For Van Alstine, a big strike would
pose some interesting questions. If the
DNR finds uranium on state land, who
gets to mine it?
"We're going to write up a report, put
it on open file, and whatever happens is
whatever happens," Van Alstine said.
For the residents of the Upper Penin-
sula, uranium mines would mean a
change of lifestyle, but not as big a
change as if ore were struck in, say,
Iowa. This has always been a mining
area, wearily accustomed to the boom
and bust cycles of a rich vein or a
played-out operation. Only uranium's
radioactivity makes it different, and
Harvey Spiegel of the Environmental
Law Society pointed out that low-level
tailings radiation is not always obvious.
"You could walk across (a buried
tailings pile)," he said, "and the
radioactivity.. . well, I wouldn't say it
wouldn't affect you, but it is nothing
like high-level waste from reactors."
depressed, though the end of a
lengthy mine workers walkout
in the iron mines last month may have a
good effect on the local economy.
Uranium mining would mean jobs, and
for many U.P. residents jobs and elec-
tric power are the real issues.
"You've got to have a healthy
economy first," said Jerry Stafford, a
Marquette resident who works for a
meat packing company. "If you don't
have a healthy economy, you can forget
about a healthy ecology because people
will be burning all the trees to stay
warm and eating all the animals
because they don't have any food."
Other residents disagree, and some of
them-the Upper Peninsula Environ-
mental Coalition-will help sponsor a
forum in Marquette Tuesday at which
local residents will air their views to an
assortment of company officials, .DNR
representatives and environmentalists.
"Some people say 'No mining under
any circumstances,"' mused Van
Alstine, "and on the other side some
people say 'Go ahead and mine regar-
dless.' I think the proper course lies
somewhere in the middle." Caught
between environmentalists and com-
panies, energy and conservation, the
DNR is looking hard for the middle.

By Tom O'Connell
The Book of Sand
By Jorge Luis Borges
E.P. Dutton: New York
125 pp. $7.95
ORGE LUIS BORGES is, above all
else, a literary craftsman. Nearly
80 years old now and obviously in the
twilight of his career, he nonetheless
continues to produce stories which
are both thoughtful and clever, and
invariably well-executed. Though the
works collected in The Book of Sand
may lack some of the intellectual
gymnastics that have previously
characterized the Argentine mas-
ter's short stories, they are still more
than just "variations on favorite
themes", as Borges himself self-
deprecatingly labels them.
When in the course of his lifetime a
writer has created a body of litera-
ture that includes collections like El

Aleph, Dreamtigers and the brilliant
Ficciones, one becomes more than
willing to grant him the right to a few
"variations". But actually, the
pieces in this latest anthology (all of
which have been previously pub-
lished in various periodicals) still
maintain that most timeless of
Borges' standards - they force the
reader to think.
The Book of Sand spreads itself
across a number of genres, though it
delves most heavily into fantasy;
here it is also at its most intriguing.
Witness the title story, in which a
man purchases (at a dear price)
what is apparently a holy book,
written in Arabic, from a wandering
bookseller. What is astonishing about
the book is the fact that it contains an
infinite number of pages - no matter
how long one turns them, the back
cover cannot be reached. Never is a
page repeated. The buyer's initial
fascination with the book gradually
turns to repulsion as his quest for a
repetition or a terminus begins to

prove fruitless: "I felt the book was a
nightmarish object, an obscene thing
that affronted and tainted reality
itself . .. I thought of fire, but I feared
that the burning of an infinite book
might likewise prove infinite and
suffocate the planet with smoke."
Finally, he is driven to deliberately
lose the Book of Sand on the dusty
shelves of a library's basement.
Borges here seems to be mocking
man's constant grasping at the
meaning of infinity, a concept which
by its very nature can never be
understood, much less visualized.
Written in a similar vein is "The
Disk", a story which Borges has
based on the idea of the one-sided
Euclidean circle: a woodcutter mur-
ders an exiled king in order to
possess his badge of authority - a
metal disk with but a single side.
However, in dying the king drops the
medallion. face down on the ground
and thus it disappears, leaving the
woodcutter to waste his life in years
of fruitless searching.

Delves heavily, into



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'Day by Day

Lowell's boc

By Constance Ennis
By Robert Lowell
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
137 pages; $8.95
N 1937, when Robert Lowell was
Na sophomore at college, he went
through a metamorphosis that
caused him to renounce his social
world at Harvard, and commit
himself entirely to the profession of
writing. Lowell's about turn might
well have been provoked by a
comment made by Ford Maddox
Ford, which was recorded thirty
years later in a poem from Notebook
(1967): " 'If he fails as a writer',
Ford told my father, 'at least he'll be
Ambassador to England or President
of Harvard.'" In time, Ford thought,
Lowell might live to be an artist.
When Lowell began writing, no
poet seemned more private or hermet-
ic. In 1947 the originality and genius
of Lowell was recognized by the
literary world when he was awarded
the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. At
Lowell's death last August, he was
regarded by many, as the best
English-language poet of his gener-
ation. Both as a poet and a public
figure, Lowell embodied our uncer-
tainties, our unease, our despair; and
history, for Lowell, became the cause
and substance of his work.
Day by Day is Robert Lowell's first
new book since the appearance of
The Dolphin (1973). It carries on a

versified autobiogr

verse that is autobiographical and
the collection as one piece completes
a self-portrait that is linked to a past
as well as an anticipated future. Like
Lowell's historical, political, and
literary poems, the poems of Day by
Day are a scenario of his past and
present, and there is no denying that
they need footnoting. As an autobiog-
raphy, Day by Day reaches back-
ward to the guilt and love in his
marriage to Caroline Blackwood, the
birth of his son Sheridan, and his
move to England, all subjects in The
Dolphin (1973); this new collection
recounts that marriage and the
struggles during that period -
Lowell's life in Kent, his hospitaliza-
tion in England, his wife's sickness,
their temporary stay in Boston, their
separation, a reconciliation, a fur
ther rupture, -a parting in Ireland,
and Lowell's return to America.
But though factual occurrences
form the basis for Day by Day, the
subjects of each poem are more per-
sonalized, founded on accidents
which the day-to-day flow of events
turns up.
Who knows if the live season,
will add tomorrow to today?
Young we identified
with the sounds of the summer
the mating birds,
roadsters and sex
of the incumbent generation ...
If I could go through it all again,
the slender iron rungs of growing

AT "BALLOON DAY" last August, opponents to the construction of Detroit
Edison's nuclear energy plant, Fermi II, released balloons at the Monroe site to
demonstrate the ease with which radioactive materials could spread in case of a
leak. The facility is scheduled for completion in 1980.

burned their utility bills in a Detroit
rally. Chanting "better active today
than radiactive tomorrow," the demon-
strators charged the power company
with "a callous disregard for the health
and welfare of Michigan citizens.. . to
sustain its own profits."
Although some 500 activists gathered
in Lansing last month to lobby for
legislative support for rate reform, the
average person has tacitly accepted the
increases. Even Robben Fleming ad-
mits he doesn't know much about why
his rates have gone up $50 in the last
year, but explains his participation- in
the Edison media campaign as "part of

to PIRGIM, pays once for the initial
high capital cost of the plant and again
for the more expensive power which the
company must then purchase from
other utilities.
Petrini explains that the consumer is
"socked twice when the nuclear power
plant does not operate to design
But Petrini's opposition remains con-
fident in its promotion of nuclear
power: "Sure it's scary if you don't
know anything about it," -says Harris.
"But if someone had invented the elec-
tric chair before the light bulb, we'd
still be burning candles.".

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Sunday magazine

Susan Ades


Jay Levin
Tom O'Connell

I would be as young as any,
a child lost
in unreality and loud music.
In the course of his literary life,
Lowell has mastered opposite ex-
tremes of style; he has explored both
literary density and conversational
nonchalance; yet in spite of his
diverseness and unpredictability, his
work is unified. In Day by Day
Lowell continues with his lifelong
struggle to break away and re-consti-

tute the
from an
"All your
poem." L
by I
expect fr

Elaine Fletcher

Associate Editors
Cover photo of cloud pattern
over North Campus by Andy Freeberg


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