Uranium Mines in Finland - No Thanks

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<-- Ranua Rescue Action Group


Outdated mining law and pro-nuclear political atmosphere have encouraged companies to search for uranium in Finland in the last 4-5 years. In other parts of Europe uranium mines have been closed for environmental reasons. The closed mines and the radioactive waste of the mines are still polluting the environment and endangering the health of thousands of people.

Uranium is not any kind of mineral and it cannot be mined safely. In Finland it would be the most profitable to mine uranium in large open mines. Radon, gaseous daughter product of uranium, evaporates more easily from open mines. As radon is heavier than air, it easily transmits to the surroundings of the mine. Inhaled radon causes lung-cancer. The radioactive elements which are left in the tailings – mining and extracting waste of uranium – cause different types of cancer, kidney damage, blood deceases, deformations of fetuses and newborn children and stillbirths. Sex cells, fetuses and children are especially vulnerable for the effects of radioactivity.

The amount of uranium in the uranium ore is usually very small. As consequence the amounts of uranium ore which has to be mined and process are huge. The uranium is extracted from the ore nearby the mine and 99% of the radioactive waste is placed at the site. Even the uranium is extracted from the ore, there is still other radioactive and other dangerous substances (for example arson and lead) left in the waste.

The mining tailings should be stored in a safe way for 100 000 years to not to cause danger for the environment and people. This is impossible to guarantee because of the huge amount of the waste and the long time needed for the storage. Spread around by water or wind the uranium mine tailings can pollute vast areas for forever.

The experience of the uranium mining companies around the world show that they are not interested at all of the health and well-being of the inhabitants of the mining areas. Let's not let them to mess around in Finland!