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Urban Exploration

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When we got our first Geiger counter here at Aztec Research, we searched high and low for radioactive things to test it with.

We visited a local nuclear plant (Bradwell nuclear power station, Essex, UK) but found no unusual readings as well as testing numerous household items that were supposed to be radioactive in some way (see 'Everyday Radioactive Items' link on the previous page).

Where it is and how much there is..

Uranium is abundant in Australia (28% or world total) and Canada (14% of world total).

Although it has more than any other country, Australia is not the only one with major deposits. Others in order are: Kazakhstan (15% of world total), Canada, South Africa, Namibia, Brazil, Russia and USA (3%). Many more countries have smaller deposits which could be mined if needed including the UK.

Finally, after finding information on Uranium mining hotspots around the world (see above) we found somewhere here in the UK. It's Cornwall.

Then, after further searching, we found information about uranium mining in Cornwall at the Dangerous Laboratories website.

We first visited Cornwall in the summer of 2001, but we have since visited again in April 2002.

Here is a map of Cornwall showing the places that we visited in 2001.

Map of cornwall

Some minarals to look for in these places include :

Pitchblende (soft uraninite black-brown in color (uranium ore), most common)

Autunite (Shades of dark green to lemon yellow, or mixed Green/Yellow)

Torbernite (Shades of dark to light green)

So armed with our Geiger counters Boris and Ivan plus some sample containers, wellies and a rock hammer, we made the long trip to Cornwall and the mine sites that were used to mine Uranium. Read about our visits to :

South Terras (The Best One)

St Austell Consols

Wheal Owles

Trenwith Mine

Providence Mine

We brought back many samples of pure pitchblende / pitchblende mixed with other minerals plus some other highly radioactive minerals.

We store our collected minerals in our multi-million pound custom built storage facility here at Aztec Research.