PR:Uranium mining is over, damages are estimated at tens of billions of Czech crowns

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=> CZECH version of this press release

Press release of Calla - Association for Preservation of the Environment dated April 27, 2017
http://calla.cz/index.php?path=hl_stranka/tiskovky/2017&php=tz170427.php

Uranium mining is over, damages are estimated at tens of billions of Czech crowns

Today, the uranium mining in the Czech Republic finally ended when the last minecart with pitchblende (or uraninite) was exported from the Rožná I uranium mine. The extraction and processing of uranium ore has caused great damage, the Czech Republic has been forced to spend more than 40 billion Czech crowns on remediation since 1989 and another CZK 60 billion will still be needed [1]. The government pledged to pay CZK 31.3 billion during the next thirty years merely to eliminate the consequences of in-situ leaching (ISL) in Stráž pod Ralskem [2]. The plans of the Ministry of Industry for the future mining of other uranium deposits, as mentioned in the Czech Raw Materials Policy, should be abandoned for good simply for these reasons.

The state-owned company DIAMO currently manages 19 tailings ponds with a total area of nearly 600 hectares and a volume of 53 million cubic meters which are filled with radioactive sludge and hazardous waste. DIAMO also manages 67 waste rock piles with over 38 million m3 of uranium ore residues on 470 ha [1], [3].

During the 30 years of the ISL of uranium deposit in Stráž pod Ralskem, almost 4.1 million tons of sulfuric acid, 320 thousand tons of nitric acid, 111 thousand tons of ammonia and 26 thousand tons of hydrofluoric acid were pushed into the ground. At present, there are 260 million m3 of contaminated groundwater in the area. Residual chemical solutions threaten an area of 160 km2 and could endanger significant supplies of groundwater reservoirs in the Bohemian Cretaceous Basin [1],[2].

Work in uranium mining industry had also significant healthy worker effects (HWE), and refunds will increase social expenditure for former miners in the uranium industry [4].

Edvard Sequens, energy consultant of Calla, said: "Termination of uranium mining in the Czech Republic is excellent news in relation to the environmental damage and human health impacts. We wish this is the final end and that public funds address environmental damage swiftly and thoroughly."

More information can be obtained from:

Notes:

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Uranium 2016: Resources, Production and Demand, NEA a IAEA 2016, http://www.oecd.org/publications/uranium-20725310.htm.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Government Resolution of the Czech Republic No. 34 of 11 January 2012 on the Report on the Results of the Updated Risk Analysis and its Impact on the Total Expenses and Expenses related to the Resolving of the Consequences of ISL Uranium Mining and Related Activities in the area of Stráž pod Ralskem and Funding for the period of 2012-2042.
  3. SUMMARY INFORMATION on the results of monitoring and state of the environmental components of DIAMO in 2015, to download from: http://www.diamo.cz/download-document/246-informace-o-zp-2015.
  4. Information sheet "Impact of Uranium Mining and Processing on Human Health" by Miroslav Šuta, M.D., August 2015: http://www.temelin.cz/images/PDF/uran%20a%20zdravi.pdf.
  5. For protection against automatical 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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