PR:Dirty uranium shines through the lithium mist

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=> CZECH version of this press release

Press release of NGO Calla - Sdružení pro záchranu prostředí of October 11, 2017
http://calla.cz/index.php?path=hl_stranka&php=2_tiskovky.php

Dirty uranium shines through the lithium mist

The actual consequence of the governmental approval of the material called the "Report on the necessity of securing the economic interests of the state in the field of using the most strategic raw materials in the EU and some other raw materials", which is being discussed today, would be the preservation of the domestic uranium industry, with significant state support. Despite the fact that uranium mining in the Czech Republic had ended and the time has come to clean up the environmental damage which is worth tens of billions of Czech crowns [1]. The state enterprise DIAMO has prepared the report for the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and in particular for its own sake, without prior consultation with the competent Ministry of the Environment [2]. Although the title of the material gives the impression that it deals primarily with a topic of lithium, so very much discussed by politicians, the reality is that we are supposed to return to the raw materials of the last century instead of the 21st century.

If the Government approves the prepared document, it will also:

  • ensure a complete monopoly of the DIAMO for uranium exploration, extraction and treatment and elimination of post-mining and treatment impacts (Chapter 3.4);
  • unlocks the route to geological exploration of uranium deposits in Brzkov, the Vysočina Region, and near Stráž pod Ralskem, the Liberec Region (Chapters 3.3, 6.1 and 7.2);
  • enable DIAMO to propose the designation of protected deposit areas for uranium mining contrary to the legitimate interests of the municipalities and owners concerned [3] (Chapters 6.6 and 7.2);
  • open the way for the preparatory and opening-up works for uranium mining in the implementation phase, which "can not be carried out without large subsidies from the state budget" and which subsequently should be approved by the government (Chapters 3.3 and 7.2);
  • decide to preserve the chemical treatment plant for processing of uranium ore in Dolní Rožínka and the local tailings pond instead of its much needed remediation (Chapters 6.3 and 7.2) [4];
  • allow DIAMO, on the pretext of "maintaining mining capabilities in personnel and technical terms", to request public funding to support mining activities, including uranium utilization on a new domestic or foreign deposit, or allow Radioactive Waste Repository Authority to expand the Bukov Underground Research Laboratory (Chapters 6.2 and 7.2).


It is hard to believe that the Ministry of Industry is attempting to regulate the 4-month-old Raw Material Policy of the Czech Republic (approved on 14th June 2017) through prepared government resolutions and undertakes the obligation to process its update until 30th April 2018, although nothing new has not happened which would not be already known in the first half of the year 2017. In addition, the Ministry refuses to change the State Energy Policy, whose content has long failed to meet the transformed energy reality of Europe and the world.

Edvard Sequens, Energy Consultant of Calla, said: "Under the pretext of strengthening the role of the state in lithium mining, state enterprise DIAMO is actually trying to keep a number of dirty uranium activities going and is preparing for new uranium mining in the Czech Republic. At the expense of human health and our environment. Ministers should refuse such an intention."

Further information can be provided by:

Notes:

  1. Mining and processing of uranium ores have caused a great deal of damage, the Czech Republic has been forced to spend more than CZK 40 billion crowns since 1989, and another CZK 60 billion will still have to be spent [Uranium 2016: Resources, Production and Demand, NEA a IAEA 2016, http://www.oecd.org/publications/uranium-20725310.htm]. Just to eliminate the aftermath of in-situ leaching (ISL) in Stráž pod Ralskem, the government committed itself to spend CZK 25 billion crowns over the next 20 years.
  2. See the main comments of the Ministry of the Environment in the inter-ministerial commentary on the "Report on the necessity of securing the economic interests of the state in the field of using the most strategic raw materials in the EU and some other raw materials"
  3. For protection against automatic email address robots searching for addresses to send spam to them this email address has been made unreadable for them. To get a correct mail address you have to displace "AT" by the @-symbol and "DOT" by the dot-character (".").
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