Not in my Backyard The Beginner`s Guide to Uranium Mining

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Uranium mining is the dirty process that fuels so-called clean nuclear energy. A number of green commentators are keen for us to support nuclear power as the only viable clean, safe and carbon neutral alternative to fossil fuels. This illustrated beginners` guide hopefully will show you why they are wrong.

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Not in my Backyard The Beginner`s Guide to Uranium Mining

  1. 1. January 2013
  2. 2. In 2008 former government chief scientist Sir DavidKing argued that nuclear energy will be essential ifBritain is to meet its commitment to reduce carbondioxide emissions by 60% of 1990 levels by 2050. He was a major influence on Labours decision to approve a new generation of nuclear power plants. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/jan/12/climatec
  3. 3. Soon after, four prominent greens and former opponents of nuclear power announced their conversion to nuclear power as the only option to preventing runaway climate changeChris SmithLord Smith of Finsbury Mark Lynas Author and Journalist Chris Goodall Green Party activist Stephen Tindale Former Executive Director of Greenpeace
  4. 4. The earthquake, tsunami and ensuing Fukushimanuclear power plant disaster in Japan in March2011 provoked well known green author andjournalist George Monbiot to declare that … As a result of the disaster at Fukushima, I am no longer nuclear- neutral. I now support the technology http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/21/pro-nuclear-jap Nearly two years after the Fukushima disaster, George Monbiot continues to reiterate his support for nuclear power outlining in public correspondence with anti-nuclear campaigner and musician Theo Simon why he thinks activists are wrong to campaign against the proposed new nuclear power station Hinckley C in Somerset. http://www.monbiot.com/2012/10/09/the-heart-of-the-matter/
  5. 5. In the wake of Fukushima, both George Monbiotand Mark Lynas were at great pains to play downthe risks of radiation. There have been breathless press reports about radioactive iodine being identified in milk and spinach produced in Fukushima prefecture, whilst a shipment of fava beans to Taiwan has also been discovered to be ‘contaminated’. I would personally quite happily consume any of the above: the risk is so small as not to be worth taking seriously. http://www.marklynas.org/2011/03/176/ One wonders if they would have asked their children to consume contaminated milk and spinach.
  6. 6. In the rapidly developing situation after Fukushima, it seemed that politicians and journalists rushed to the assumption that little threat was posed by radiation. One year on, epidemiologist and director of the US Radiation and Public Health Project and toxicologist Janette Sherman warned that such assumptions are political and not scientific as they are not evidence based. “Simply dismissing needed research on Fukushima health consequences because doses are ‘too low’ is irresponsible, and contradictory to many scientific studies. “ http://www.twnside.org.sg/title2/resurgence/2012/259/special1.htmBut Mark Lynas continues to assert a pro-nuclear positionand that the dangers of the Fukushima disaster areoverplayed. …we must never forget that Fukushima has killed no one… Scientists also agree there will never be an observable cancer increase in the Japanese population attributable to Fukushima. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/sep/14/nuclear-global-warming
  7. 7. Both George and Mark are keen toshow that up to now, the greenmovement has got it wrong aboutthe dangers of radiation or as oneweekly paper puts it The green movement has misled“Opposition to nuclear power is now the world about the dangers ofstarting to look like a position occupied bythe uninformed masses of the public (who radiation.could be easily swayed with a well-run http://www.monbiot.com/2011/04/04/evidence- meltdown/propaganda campaign after theyinevitably forget about Fukushima) anddie-hard environmentalists who dont givetoo much thought to the practicalities of aworld without cheap, abundant energy.”http://www.theweek.co.uk/people-news/6855/monbiot-joins-lovelock-nuclear-power-camp Some greens have wildly exaggerated the dangers of radioactive pollution. http://www.monbiot.com/2011/03/21/going-critical/
  8. 8. In one of his articles George Monbiot cites a graphic from xkcd.com which claims that 100 mSv is the lowest one-year dose clearly linked to increased cancer risk.Liverpool based labour and anti-nuclear activist Greg Dropkinresponded to Monbiot pointing out that … Steve Wing and David Richardson ( Radiation and Mortality of Workers at Oak Ridge National La , 1999) found significant increased cancer risks associated with exposure to 10 mSv in workers at the Oak Ridge plant in Tennessee. Japanese A-bomb survivors cancer risks are also linked to their radiation dose, even for those who received less than 20 mSv in 1945.
  9. 9. The science of radiation might seem difficult to understand to a non-scientist but even 14 -16 year olds can read in their GCSE textbooksthat…There is no such thing as a safe dose. Just one radon atom(alpha radiation) might cause a cancer. Just as a person mightget knocked down by a bus the first time they cross a road. Thechance of it happening is low, but it still exists. The lower thedose, the lower the risk. But the risk is never zero. GCSE PhysicsOCR 21st Century Science
  10. 10. 14-16 year olds also learn that although our skin protects against alpha particles, they can be ingested through food or breathed in. Radioactive waste is … hazardous. Imagine that some waste leaked into the water supply. Imagine that this is taken up by a carrot which you eat. This radioactive material is now in your stomach where it can irradiate your internal organs .GCSE Physics OCR 21st Century ScienceGiven the uncertainties and debates about low-level radiation, the scientific consensus is that itis not possible to establish a minimum dose level which is safe. This is what informs currentschool textbooks.This information is what enables young people to decide for themselves whether they wish to eatspinach grown near the site of a nuclear disaster. They may choose to act according toprecautionary principles.However, many people in the world do not have access to education even at this level. How arethey to know what to think about the dangers of radiation?
  11. 11. The message that nuclear power is the only immediately viable alternative to coal in the campaign against climate change has been spread far and wide through the UK press over the past couple of years. Stephen Tindale announced his support for nuclear energy in The Sun newspaper in 2009. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/article2265768.ece And while those environmentalists in support of nuclear energy admit that it is not the perfect solution, they do really underplay the problems associated with it.1.Nuclear power is not carbonneutral. According to an d n winarticle in Scientific ions tha rt are emiss spoAmerican… re c arbon g and tran mo refinin imes pt o 25 t nd uranium s in u a wer result onstruction 2. We do not have adequate ar po to rc solutions for nuclear waste Nucle when reac y, disposal energ red. e consid The nuclear energy industry has so far generated 300,000 tons of waste which must be isolated from living organisms for at least 100,000 years. http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2011/apr/24/nuclear-waste-storag http://nouranium.wordpress.com/2009/0 The problem of uranium mining is rarely mentioned. After all…
  12. 12. …it is not something that affects us here in the UK. There is powerful opposition to wind farms in the UK but we forget that …http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/1870086/fierce-opposition-drives-wind-farm-approvals-low 70% of the worlds uranium resources are located in the lands inhabited by Indigenous Peoples in Africa, Asia, Australia, North and South America. http://www.wise-uranium.org/uip412.html
  13. 13. September 2007The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the UN General Assembly Article 19 States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them.This means that Indigenous people have the right to refuse mining on their land.
  14. 14. For mining companies, the presentation of nuclear energy asthe most viable green alternative is an opportunity to pressuregovernments to allow more land to be opened up for uraniummining. Unfortunately, this makes those those environmentalists in favour of nuclear energy, sound like lobbyists for the nuclear energy and uranium mining industry.
  15. 15. Until recently both BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, two of the world`s biggest mining companies and both registered in London were seeking to expand uranium mining operations in Australia. In 2005, BHP Billiton bought the Olympic Dam uranium mine from Western Mining Corporation. This mine, situated in South Australia, has been operating since 1983 despite strong and sustained opposition from the traditional landowners and environmentalists. The Ranger Mine in Northern Territory is owned by Energy Resources Australia, a 68% subsidiary of Rio Tinto. It supplies 10% of the world`s uranium. Rio Tinto is interested in opening up the Jabiluka uranium deposit situated nearby just outside the National Park. There has been sustained opposition to the Ranger Mine and the proposed Jabiluka mine.
  16. 16. In 2009, BHP Billiton announced plans to turn Olympic Dam into an open pit This will consume 260million litres of mine expanding production from water/day depleting and damaging 200,000 tonnes to 750,000 natural groundwater supplies and tonnes/year. producing vast quantities of liquid waste. This water will be provided at no cost to the mining company. Greenhouse emissions will increase to 5.3-5.9 million tonnes increasing South Australia`s total greenhouse emissions by 12-14%.http://bhpbillitonwatch.net/2010/11/18/south-australia-olympic-dam-mine-2/
  17. 17. Eileen Wani Wingfield, a Senior Enough damage has been done from the Olympic Dam uraniumKokatha Woman from Coober mine, they should not expand it.Pedy in South Australia andaward winning environmentalist. Many of our food sources, traditional plants and trees are gone because of this mine. We worry for our water: it’s our main source of life. The mine causes many safety risks to our roads – transporting the uranium from the mine. It has stopped us from accessing our sacred sites and destroyed others. These can never be replaced. BHP never consulted me or my families, they select who they consult with. Many of our people have not had a voice. We want the mine stopped now, because it’s not good for anything. http://bhpbillitonwatch.net/2010/11/18/south-australia-olympic-dam-mine-2/ August 2012 - BHP Billiton announced that it was delaying/shelving the planned expansion of this mine due to cost factors and that no new projects will be approved until June 2013. http://londonminingnetwork.org/2012/09/back-to-the-drawing-board-fo
  18. 18. Near the Olympic Dam is the WoomeraProhibited Area, a weapons testing facilitytaken from the traditional owners in 1947 `tomake provision for the defence of Australiaand the British Empire`.It contains 62% of the country`s copperdeposits and 78% of its uranium reserves.Mining companies are now to share access tothe area in order to exploit these vast reserves.The original owners of the land whose accessis restricted do not stand to benefit from themineral rights. Of the two groups involved inthe consultation process, the Antakirinja Matu-Yankunytjatjara Aboriginal Corporationpreferred the land to be used for mining ratherthan defence if forced to choose as there maybe wider economic benefits.The other group, the Kokatha Uwankara NativeTitle Claim Group expressed concern that aprevious plan in place with the government had“not been followed and has been largelyignored by Defence …” and that “any n iesproposal to open the areas of the WPA up in gC ompato future mining and exploration are of ingreat concern … traditional owners will not ited to Mpermit any damage to such sites ofsignificance”. N ot Prohibhttp://www.crikey.com.au/2011/05/06/australias-trillion-dollar-land-swindle/
  19. 19. The Ranger mine in Kakadu National Park in Australia is owned by EnergyResources Australia, a 68% subsidiary of the London based company RioTinto. It supplies 10% of the world`s uranium.Rio Tinto is interested in opening up the Jabiluka uranium deposit situatednearby just outside the National Park.
  20. 20. The Mirrar people, traditional owners of the land where both the Ranger mineand the Jabiluka deposit are sited, have, following the Fukushima disaster, have restated their opposition to mining at the Jabiluka. They request that Jabilukabe included in the protected territory of the Kakadu National Park. While Monbiot was telling us of his conversion to nuclear energy after the Fukushima disaster Yvonne Margarula, Mirrar elder and award winning environmental activist, wrote this in a letter to the UN … Given the long history between Japanese nuclear companies and Australian uranium miners, it is likely that the radiation problems at Fukushima are, at least in part, fuelled by uranium derived from our traditional lands. This makes us feel very sad . http://antinuclear.net/2011/04/16/letter-to-united-nations-from-yvonne-margarula/
  21. 21. Ranger has operated since 1980 and has brought much hardship to local Aboriginal and environmental damage to our country. For over 30 years we have experienced and lived with the ‘front end’ reality of uranium mining and we are opposed to any further mining at the Jabiluka site. Today some 12 million litres of radioactive contaminated water lies on site at the Ranger Uranium Mine, upstream of Indigenous communities and internationally recognised Ramsar listed wetlands.The mining company, owned by Rio Tinto, has suspended all milling of uranium due to the persistent water management problems and threats posed to the environment.http://antinuclear.net/2011/04/16/letter-to-united-nations-from-yvonne-margarula/
  22. 22. In 1977, Aboriginal opposition to the RangerUranium proposal was overridden with the words"their opposition shall not be allowed to prevail".Bininj people were told that the rest of Australiawanted uranium mining in the Alligator RiversRegion, within what would become KakaduNational Park. Almost three decades later, thevoices of Mirarr continue to be ignored ormarginalised by the mining industry and all levelsof government.http://www.mirarr.net/ The Mirrar continue to live in poverty, gaining little economic benefit from the exploitation of uranium on their land. Furthermore…
  23. 23. …according to a report published by theAustralian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies(AIATSIS) in 2006 • cancer cases in the indigenous community living in the vicinity of the Ranger mine appear to be almost double the normal rate • no data on birth defects and stillbirths were kept • there has been no monitoring or investigation of the health impacts of the mine on the local indigenous people since 1984 • but since 1981, there have been more than 120 spillages and leaks of contaminated water Aborigines and Uranium Monitoring the Health Hazards Tatz, C., Cass, A., Condon, J., Tippett, G. AIATSIS Dec 2006
  24. 24. The report points out that……high doses of radiation are known to cause cancers, foetal damage,congenital malformations and even to retard cognitive development. Weknow less about the effects of low doses, but any community-protectionprogram must assume some degree of health risk. Radiation can enter thebody by ingestion of local food and water, by inhaling radioactive gasesand airborne dust, and by irradiation from external sources. Aboriginal communities have traditional knowledge that warns them of the importance of leaving the uncertain dangers of uranium well alone. Yvonne Margarula goes on to say…
  25. 25. For many thousands of years we Aboriginal people of Kakadu have respected sacred sites where special and dangerous power resides. We call these places and this power Ojang. There is Ojang associated with both the Ranger mine area and the site of the proposed Jabiluka mine. We believe and have always believed that when this Ojang is disturbed a great and dangerous power is unleashed upon the entire world. My father warned the Australian Government about this in the 1970s, but no one in positions of power listened to him.http://antinuclear.net/2011/04/16/letter-to-united-nations-from-yvonne-margarula/
  26. 26. On the 1st of March 2012 “In a move signalling an improvementin relations, the Mirarr Traditional Aboriginal Owners of theRanger Project Area and miner Energy Resources of AustraliaLtd (ERA)… announced the establishment of an independentsurface water study at the Ranger mine and thedecommissioning of an interim water management pond on theJabiluka lease.The independent Ranger surface water study… will examinethe impacts, monitoring and reporting of surface waters flowingfrom the Ranger mine.http://www.energyres.com.au/media/38_media_releases_2767.asp
  27. 27. Niger is one of the poorestcountries in the world.40% of children are malnourishedand three quarters of thepopulation are illiterate.But the country is rich in mineralresources, particularly uranium.Areva whose majorityshareholder is the Frenchgovernment and its locally ownedsubsidiaries have been mininguranium in the north of thecountry since 1968.COMINAK near the town ofAkokan is the largestunderground mine in the world.Near the town of Arlit is amassive open pit mine.A third mine is planned for 2013and will be the largest in Africa.http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/publications/re
  28. 28. A report by Greenpeace International, Left in the Dust (2010,) found that…• In over forty years of mine operation, 270 billion litres of water havebeen used, contaminating and depleting the aquifer in a very aridregion.• In 4 out of 5 water samples taken uranium concentrations were aboveWHO levels. Some samples also contained some dissolved radon gas.•Soil samples were found to have radioactive levels 100 times higherthan normal for the area and higher than internationally set limits.•Someone spending an hour on the streets of Akokan would be exposedto more than the maximum allowable annual dose where radiation levelswere found to be up to 500 times the normal background levels.•Greenpeace found several pieces of radioactive scrap metal in the localmarket with 500 times the level of normal background radioactivity.People use these to build homes.http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/publications/reports/Left-in-the-dust/
  29. 29. 30 million tons of radioactive waste is Miners were In a region where water is left outdoors. The unaware of the precious, local water dried waste is easily dangers of radiation supplies have been airborne. until the 1990s. depleted and Radioactive waste has contaminated with been used to build radioactive and toxic homes and repair waste roads. Health inspections did not take place until 2007. Radon released at surface to reduce lung cancer risk There are some truths that we should among miners not say but it’s like this: we are living working underground dead! contaminates the air We can spend days without approachingRadioactive dust and above health our families: we repel them [because ofradon contaminates the recommendation the danger]! We are all radiated.air and the soil. levels up to 10kmRespiratory disease is away. http://www.wecf.eu/english/articles/2010/05/almahacethe primary cause ofmorbidity in the region. Interview with Salifou Adinfo, http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/publication November 2009. Former driller for AREVA, Arlit, Niger
  30. 30. When the price of yellowcake shot up in The Tuareg are a nomadic herders who wander2007 as a result of the new enthusiasm for across the Sahara. Frustrated by decades ofnuclear energy, the now ousted President marginalisation and discrimination exacerbated byTandja awarded more than 100 uranium the mining, the Tuaregs began an armed rebellionexploration licenses. These licenses cover in the region which continues on and off to thisthe land of the Tuareg almost entirely. day. The government has therefore forced NGOs and journalists out of the area.The Tuareg pastures andwatering places aredisappearing because of the Areva is committing a crime here. They take theexisting mining. Any economic water, and trees and plants disappear as a result.benefits brought by the mining There is no life. And what for? For your energy.to Niger, do not go to them. The Tuareg live from their animals. They cant go anywhere else. They live from this land, and it belongs to them." http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/uranium-mining-in-niger-tuareg-ac Almoustapha Alhacen,Tuareg and former mineworker and founder of Aghirin Man (Protection of the Soul) which is the first civil society organisation in Arlit. It was set up to defend the local people`s right to health and environmental protection. http://www.wecf.eu/english/articles/2010/05/almahacen-csd.php
  31. 31. According to Almoustapha Alhacen, the legacy of the mine is … Enduring pollution! Lack of water,because the ground water table is already at 70%. As they fill every 100 million years, one can say they are not filling. The fauna has also disappeared. The flora has disappeared. It is a desert country, but there are trees...their roots cannot grow deeper than 60 metres! However, the water tables are now at 300 metres: the trees cannot reach them. The heritage for us is enduring pollution. http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/publications/re ports/Left-in-the-dust/
  32. 32. The state of Jharkand is home to manyof Indias Adivasis (Indigenous people)who have been resisting uraniummining for many decades.Thousands face displacement,cancers, and birth defects.In May 2009, these villagers enteredthe office of the Chief Commissioner ofSinghbhum in Jamshedpur todemonstrate their opposition to theUranium Corporation of Indias effortsacquire their land for a new tailingspond.The waste is generated by the nearbyBanduhurang uranium mines.In 2009, the villagers still hadn`t beencompensated for land taken from themin 1983.http://intercontinentalcry.org/adivasis-fighting-against-nuclear-terror-in-jharkhand/
  33. 33. These people live around the Jadugoda mine complex. This woman is washing spinach a few yards down stream from the outflow from the mine workings. There are no signs to warn people of potential contamination. These are just two of the unusually high number of young people born with congenital defects. Many will be unable to take care of themselves.http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/06/south_asia_living_by_india0s_uranium_mine/html/7.stm
  34. 34. At the Jadugoda mine in Jharkand, India, the dangerouspowers of uranium have been unleashed with disastrousimpact on the local people. A study conducted by Indian Doctors for Peace and Development in 2007 in five villages up to 2.5km away from the mines, tailings ponds and ore processing sites found there was • a significant increase in congenital birth defects • a significant increase in infertility • an increased number of cancer cases • a reduced life expectancy A 2004 study by Hiroaki Koide of Kyoto University, Japan, confirmed that the amount of air-gamma dose exceeds 1 milli Sievert (1mSv) per year in the villages and reaches 10 mSv/y around tailing ponds. http://www.ippnw.org/pdf/jadugoda-health-survey.pdf
  35. 35. Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon is one of the USA`s most famous areas of natural beauty and home to the Havasupai people.According to the New Scientist … Since uranium prices began to rise in 2005, driven by expected future demand for nuclear power, the number of mining claims staked on public lands adjacent to the park has mushroomed. They now cover about half the public land that makes up Grand Canyons northern watershed. Dozens of exploration projects have been proposed and plans are afoot to reopen old mines.http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028075.500-say-no-to-uranium-mining-in-the-grand-canyon.html
  36. 36. The Havasupai People who live in the canyon depend on the springs for their water. The springs are also critical to the National Park`s biodiversity. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028075.500-say-no-to-uranium-mining-in-the-grand-canyon.html
  37. 37. "Scientific evidence suggests that the exploitation ofuranium resources near the Grand Canyon will beintimately connected with the groundwater aquifersand springs in the region. The hydrologic impactshave a great potential to be negative to people andbiotic systems. I believe that an assumption thaturanium mining will have minimal impact on springs,people and ecosystems in the Grand Canyon isunreasonable, and is not supported by pastinvestigations, research and data.“David Kreamer, Professor of Geology at University ofNevada giving testimony before Congress in 2009http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028075.500-say-no-to-uranium-mining-in-the-grand-canyon.html
  38. 38. The area already has problems with old uranium mines… The Orphan uranium mine on Grand Canyons south rim, was abandoned in 1969 but •it still leaches polluted water into Horn Creek. •it contains dissolved uranium at levels 10 times as high as those considered acceptable in US drinking water • nobody knows how to clean it up. •the National Park Service warns visitors against drinking or swimming in that water •in 2010, the US Geological Survey found elevated uranium in soil at every old mining site it visited in Grand Canyons watershed. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028075.500-say-no-to-uranium-mining-in-the-grand-canyon.htmlhttp://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2008/09/cleanup-costs-abandoned-uranium-mine-grand-canyon-national-park-are-defer
  39. 39. The Navajo Nation stretches over the states of Utah, Arizona and New Mexico in the USA. It covers 27,000 square miles of land and is larger than 10 of the 50 US States.Uranium However there is ahas been renewed interest inmined here mining the remaining uraniumsince the reserves using a1940s but method called instopped in situ leaching.the late http://navajopeople.org/1970s. http://masecoalition.org/navajonation/ In response to this renewed interest in uranium mining, in 2005, the Navajo Nation Government banned uranium mining on tribal lands. Note: Many Navajo people prefer to be known as the Dine and this name will be used alongside the term Navajo.
  40. 40. The Dine are not convinced that there is sufficient evidence that in situ leaching is asafe method of mining. In situ mining is where a solvent, usually sulphuric acid isinjected into the underground rock and the uranium containing solution is pumped tothe surface. Although it reduces the spread of radiation and dust, it can contaminategroundwater and this is impossible to restore once the mining operation is complete. http://www.wise-uranium.org/uisl.html The Dine have good reason not to trust the mining companies. When uranium mining stopped in the late 1970s, the companies walked away from the mines leaving •unsealed tunnel openings, •gaping pits, sometimes hundreds of feet deep • piles of radioactive uranium ore and mine waste. Dine families live within a hundred feet of the mine sites. They graze their livestock here, and have used radioactive mine tailings to build their homes. Dine children play in the mines, and uranium mine tailings have turned up in school playgrounds. http://serc.carleton.edu/research_education/nativeland s/navajo/humanhealth.html
  41. 41. The Church Rock Disaster The USA`s biggest accidental release of radiation 1979 This little known disaster took place when an earthen tailings dam at the Church Rock Uranium Mill was breached and over ninety million gallons of radioactive liquid carrying over1,100 tons of radioactive waste flowed into the Puerco River in New Mexico and downstream to Chambers in Arizona. http://toxipedia.org/display/toxipedia/Church+Rock+DamThe spill ranks second only to the 1986 Chernobyl reactor meltdown in theamount of radiation released. This along with more than 20 years of dischargesof untreated or poorly treated uranium mine water has added to the long termcontamination of the Puerco River.http://www.cibolabeacon.com/news/commemoration-set-for-uranium-spill-site/article_5b79d3a5-edb7-539b-bb89-efbf16d6 According to a report by the Church Rock Uranium Monitoring Project 2003-2007…
  42. 42. Only one population-based epidemiological study of health effects possibly associatedwith exposure to uranium mining has ever been conducted on the Navajo Nationdespite nearly 60 years of uranium development.No health study has ever been conducted in the Church rock area despite its lengthyand well-documented history of uranium-related impacts.Little scientific and medical data exist to determine if the health of dependents ofuranium workers and residents of mining districts was adversely affected by theirenvironmental exposures to uranium and other radiological and chemical toxicants.Yet anecdotal information and informal surveys suggest that public health has beenadversely affected in mining districts.http://www.cibolabeacon.com/news/commemoration-set-for-uranium-spill-site/article_5b79d3a5-edb7-539b-bb89-efbf16d65e90 Therefore, it was hardly surprising that the Dine renewed their demand that their 2005 ban on uranium mining be respected….
  43. 43. The legacy of uranium mining hasThe Navajo people do not want devastated both the people and therenewed uranium mining on or near land. The workers, their families, andthe Navajo Nation. I ask you to respect the their neighbours suffer increasedDiné Natural Resources Protection Act incidences of cancers and otherthat places a moratorium on Navajo land medical disorders caused by theirand within Navajo Indian Country. exposure to uranium. Fathers and sons who went to work in the mines and thewww.navajo.org (please note – link seems processing facilities brought theto no longer work) remnants of uranium into their homes at the end of the each day infecting their families. www.navajo.org (please note – link seems to no longer work) January 2012- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar formally signed a 20-year moratorium on new uranium and other hard rock mining claims on a million acres of federal lands around the Grand Canyon, saying it was a "serious and necessary step" to preserve the mile-deep canyon and the river that runs through it. The move, which has been opposed by the mining industry and a majority of Republican politicians in Arizona, comes after more than two years of study. It reverses a decision by the George W. Bush administration to allow new leasing in the buffer zone around the canyon. http://www.wise-uranium.org/upusaaz.htmlNavajo Nation President Joe Shirley
  44. 44. This is yellow cake, which is produced after grinding the uranium containing rocks and mixing them with sulphuric acid to extract this uranium oxide. This is turned into nuclear fuel. According to Winona LaDuke, Native American environmentalist and author in an article about uranium mining in Orion magazine… Uranium ore has a yellowish tinge. This yellow dirt is known to the Dine as Leetso – a word that also suggests a powerful and dangerous monster. http://www.inmotionmagazine.com/ hcare/db_npum.html IN A DINE CREATION STORY, the people were given a choice of two yellow powders. They chose the yellow dust of corn pollen, and were instructed to leave the other yellow powder—uranium—in the soil and never to dig it up. If it were taken from the ground, they were told, a great evil would come.http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/4248
  45. 45. Uranium mining is dangerous, dirty and destructive. Whats more, it mainly takes placeon other peoples land, in the process destroying livelihoods often more sustainable thanour own in the UK, communities, cultures, environment and health. In many cases, thosepeople do not benefit even from the so-called `clean` energy produced from uranium.Many may not even have access to electricity in their own homes. Yet, the impacts ofuranium mining will be felt for many generations.Is it right than we inflict great evil on other people by choosing the wrong yellow powder?
  46. 46. Additional note Recently there has been a growing interest in thorium as an alternative to uranium as a nuclear fuel and in particular in liquid fluoride thorium reactors and integral fast reactors. Recognising the problems of conventional nuclear power Monbiot has expressed his support for liquid fluride thorium reactors and claims to have asked Caroline Lucas, Green MP, in a debate if she would support research into developing this technology. Her response he claims left him speechless “No, she told me, because thorium reactors are not a proven technology. Words fail me.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2011/mar/31/double-staA recent article in the New Scientist about liquid fluoride thorium reactors seems to support Caroline Lucas` positionthat they are not a proven technology.Pavel Tsvetkov, a nuclear engineer at Texas A&M University in College Station, points out that many of the claimedsafety advantages of LFTRs must still be proved in more detailed studies. "Safety research is yet to be done," hesays.A European research project not due to be completed until November 2013 is looking at the viability of using fluoridesalts which are highly corrosive and after that hoping to get further funding to build a prototype reactor.http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20928053.500-thorium-reactors-could-rescue-nuclear-power.html
  47. 47. This presentation was created by Kerima Mohideen. Kerima is a teacher and a member of the London Mining Network Management Committee.All quotations and images are referenced if they are not, this is an oversight which we will correct. http://londonminingnetwork.org/ Merika Productions 2011

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