PR:International Action Day Against Uranium Mining: Ranua Rescue Action Day With Actions In Several Countries
International Action Day Against Uranium Mining
Ranua Rescue Action Day With Actions In Several Countries
Helsinki/Magdeburg Activists of the 'Nuclear Heritage Network', a international network of anti-nuclear activists, call for tomorrow's international action day against Uranium mining. Following a call for help of residents of the Finnish community Ranua, activists of the growing anti-nuclear movement of Finland decided to initiate solidarity actions. On Thursday in several countries events will take place.
"Uranium mining takes place on the land of indigenous people - in Canada several First Nations are concerned, in Australia it happens to the Aborigines, in Finland to the Saami. Nobody asks the local people if they agree with the dangerous mining plans of the nuclear industry, that will destroy the environment. There traditional lands are broken up, polluted and completely ruined", explains Falk Beyer. "For Uranium mining large amounts of chemicals and much energy are used; the nuclear industry releases huge amounts of the climate harmful CO2. It is clear: nuclear power pollutes the climate."
Cause of the action day are plans of the nuclear company Areva to mine Uranium in Finnish Lapland. Obviously the company speculated with low resistance as Finlands North is not populated too much. Similar to most of the Uranium mining areas in the world also in Finland indigenous people are concerned: the Saami are the last indigenous people of Europe. However, the resistance against the Uranium Mining in Lapland is amazing. It seems that the growing Finnish anti-nuclear movement becomes stronger because of Areva's mining plans. At the international 'Nuclear Climate Camp' in Lapland in July residents of the community of Ranua asked for support for their resistance. For this reason Finnish anti-nuclear activists called for the international 'Ranua Rescue Action Day' on August 13th, 2009.
On Thursday actions will take place in several countries to draw attention to the destructive plans of the nuclear industry, and to put pressure against the Uranium mining in Ranua and elsewhere. Actions have already been announced in several cities of Finland and Germany.
Every new day operating nuclear power plants causes immense amounts of Uranium ore to be mined. The conventional electricity mixture usually also contains nuclear power. Everyone who continues buying conventional electricity takes a part of the responsibility for the destruction of unique ecosystems and for the exploitation ad oppression of indigenous people in the areas where Uranium is mined. The action day shall teach about these connections and sensitize for a responsible consumption.
Uranium mining usually occures in open pit mines. Thus in Lapland large pristine wetlands and boreal forests will be cleared, drained and stripped. Extensiv open pit mines will dig through the vulnerable ecosystems like huge scars. The traffic system will be multiplied to develope the area causing massive overdevelopement of the habitats. Toxic chemicals used in huge extent will not only pollute the environment locally, but harm further areas being distributed by ground water and river systems. Large slag heaps of radioactive materials will permantly threaten human beings and environment.
"Only a small part of the mined Uranium ore can be used. Only 33 tons of 300,000 tons of mined ore will be sent to the fuel element production. The rest remains as nuclear waste in slag heaps mostly directly in the mining areas. Once brought to daylight, the soil becomes a radioactive threat", says Beyer. "Despite the comparatively small number of nuclear power plants the nuclear industry runs out its supplies of fuel. The past daydreams of the everlasting fuel circle in Fast Breeders and other facilities of the so-called 'Fourth Generation' has been turned out to be a failure a long time ago. Nowhere in the world these reactors worked. If the nuclear industry really wanted to extend their reactor arsenal to a energetic relevant number, they would soon be out of fuel. New Uranium mines as in Finnish Ranua shall slow down this trend, but the end foreseeable: Uranium is an extremely limited resource and no basis for a long-lasting supply of energy."
Ranua is one of several communities in Northern Finland where the French nuclear company Areva wants to mine Uranium. As a joint venture of Areva and the German Siemens company they construct the world's first EPR reactor in Finland. Until today more than 1,000 faults in the constructions have been registered, the estimated costs have been multiplied, and the completion is overdue for a long time. Caused by systematic violations of rules the Finnish authorities in between had stopped the constructions.
In Ranua more than 4.5 thousands of people are living. The area of the community has an expanse of some 3,700 square kilometers. About 70 % of the area are wetlands. An uranium mine in Lapland would lead to all the people who now get their livelihood from berry or mushroom picking, collecting wild plants, reindeer herding, fishing or agriculture to lose their source of income. Mining and radioactive waste in the vulnerable northern nature would also destroy Europe's largest remaining wilderness areas for forever. In many countries people and companies are watching Finnish policy on nuclear energy and uranium mining to see if it starts a new trend on nuclear energy. So this is not only a local issue but important to all the people in the world.
You are warmly invited to point to the action day in your media, and also to report about it afterwards. With prior consulting we will provide you with pictures and press report after the action day. We are also at your disposal for interviews and questions. You will reach us by e-mail to contact AT nuclear-heritage.net or by telephone number +44-7624-194877. More background information is provided by the webpage of the action day: http://ranua.nuclear-heritage.net.
Nuclear Heritage Network
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