James Neal Blue, who helped devise the Predator unmanned aircraft that are in use in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, is the director of a company that bought the Four Mile uranium mine in Australia. Blue is the chairman of Quasar Resources, which is affiliated with General Atomics, a major United States weapons and nuclear energy corporation. General Atomics reportedly holds $700 million in Pentagon contracts. The Four Mile mine is located next to the Beverly Uranium mine, with is owned by another affiliate of General Atomics. Environmental groups in Australia are worried about the environmental standards that the government has set for the mine, as there is not requirement for the company to ever clean up the radioactive trail that is expected to flow around the water supply. In his Forbes profile, it shows Blue’s primary job is as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Oceanic Exploration Company, but he is also listed as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for General Atomics as well as a couple other similar positions. This story is relevant not only to people in Australia but also the U.S. and the world because this kind of connection seems to suggest that our government is still making nuclear weapons.
Sources: “Secretive arms tycoon behind new uranium mine.” Ben Cubby, Sydney Morning Herald, July 16, 2009.
“James Neal Blue.” No author, Forbes, 2009.
Student Researchers: Colin Doran, Ryan Huffman, Mikey Hemkens
Faculty Instructor: Kevin Howley, Associate Professor of Media Studies, DePauw University
Evaluator: Jeff McCall Professor of Communications, DePauw University