PR:SAFETY DAM IS LEAKING - EMERGENCY LIMING HAS BEEN STARTED

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Press Release 22-Nov-2012 / Stop Talvivaara


Talvivaara nickel and uranium mine environmental disaster:

SAFETY DAM IS LEAKING - EMERGENCY LIMING HAS BEEN STARTED

According to our sources of information Talvivaara Mining Company Plc has installed piping at the bottom of the dam for regulating the leak and water is already being drained through.

The company has started emergency liming with help of two helicopters. According to sightings on the scene two civilian helicopters are in process of dropping the lime from containers of 300-500 kilograms.

Water of Lumijoki river carries a foul stench and there's also a strong odour of sulphur out in the terrain. Color of the flowing water down below from the dam is as alarming as in the beginning of the gypsum pond leak: brownish dark yellow. Lumijoki river is flooding again: silt is falling apart from the shores and travelling along.

Kainuu ELY-Centre (Centre for the Economic Development, Transport and the Environment) calmed down the media and public, telling that this is a normal seeping water leak.

Dam safety inspector of Kainuu ELY-Centre claims to have visited the dam every day for inspections. We are eagerly waiting for Kainuu ELY-Centre to publish the photos taken during these daily inspections. They are of utmost importance in estimating the expansion the leak.

According to our sightings on the scene, it appeared that the flooding area had expanded since our previous visit on Wednesday.

See the series of photos from 21-Nov-2012 showing the safety dam, the area down below from the dam and the back-up pond itself: http://www.stoptalvivaara.org

We're updating video footage at our YouTube-channel: (please allow a day or two for subtitled material) http://www.youtube.com/user/StopTalvivaara


BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Finnish Government has yesterday published a press release from Kainuu Centre of The Economic Development, Transport and The Development announcing that there's now officially a leak in the safety dam of Talvivaara mine. This doesn't come as a surprise for People's Movement for the Lakes and Rivers. The press release is currently only in finnish (16:48 GMT+2): http://valtioneuvosto.fi/sivusto/Talvivaara/fi.jsp

People's Movement for the Lakes and Rivers criticized government's perspective of "stabilized situation" already back in 16th-Nov-2012: "Press Release: Prime minister Katainen does not comprehend the seriousness of the situation. The last safety bank is in constant danger of failing without warning."

All through the building of the last "safety dam" and "back-up" pond any sane person could have realised that this isn't a "stabilized situation". Activists of People's Movement for the Lakes and Rivers noticed the dam starting to leak already in 20th-Nov-2012. Video material was captured and several press releases were sent extensively to Finnish media since then on a daily basis. When media finally showed a slight interest in possibility of leakage, the supervisory authority Kainuu Centre of the Economic Development, Transport and the Environment responded that the dam is "seeping" not leaking. Seeping was considered a normal phenomena, and it wasn't considered harmful - well there's only some 1,000,000 litres of highly toxic waste.

The Finnish media seem to have bought this all despite the fact that People's Movement for the Lakes and Rivers kept releasing more news and footage on a daily basis. For three days the Kainuu Centre for the Economic Development, Transport and the Environment denied that there's a leak. Talvivaara Mining Company Plc also kept silent about this until yesterday. Thursday afternoon the Government, Talvivaara and Kainuu Centre of The Economic Development, Transport and The Development publicly admitted that there's a leak in the safety dam of Talvivaara mine.

http://www.stoptalvivaara.org
People's Movement for the Lakes and Rivers

Contact for media:

  • Virpi Virolainen, +358 40 8317733, mediadesk@stoptalvivaara.org


Earlier media releases:

Background information in English:


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