Ranua Rescue Action Day
As the tapped uranium reserves are limited and today's uranium mines can't provide at least half of the fuel requirements nuclear companies like Areva are undertaking a global offense to search for new uranium mines. In Finland the French nuclear company Areva enforces their mining plans in the sparsely populated North after being driven away from southern Finland's countryside (Area 32!).
Local people of the threated region of Ranua in Finnish Lapland joined the international Nuclear Climate Camp in Tervola in summer 2009 and asked for support for their struggle against Areva. After the camp Finnish anti-nuclear activists decided to focus on uranium mining and construction plans of a new NPP in the North - the Ranua Rescue group was created. An international action day was announced at short notice only one week before the expected municipality decision about Areva's application to drill in Ranua to examine the uranium ore in the region.
It was the Ranua Rescue Action Day on August 13th, 2009 to bring the struggle of the uranium mining in Lapland first to international public attention. In two Finnish (Tampere, Helsinki) and two German cities (Magdeburg, Berlin) actions took place to rise the citizens' awareness on this topic:
- Helsinki (rally started at 3 pm from Kolmen Sepän patsas - the statue of 3 blacksmiths near Stockmann's)
- Tampere (rally started at 12 pm from the Central Square)
- Magdeburg (action started at 4 pm in front of the main railway station) Press Release
Appeal: Stop Uranium Prospecting at Ranua - International Action Day 13th of August
In Ranua - a municipality located in Lapland, Finland - the soil and groundwater are in danger of being contaminated by uranium prospecting.
Let Areva and the municipality's pro-uranium mining politicians know that they are being observed all around the world!
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 Finland and other parts of Europe/world!
One action possibility:
Send an email, call or fax the council members (see contact data of council members). Write or call to one or more (or all!) municipality board members. You can do it in English or your own language (if not in Finnish or Swedish). Tell them that you are worried about the situation. Urge them to say NO to uranium prospecting.
Add at least one reason why you think they should not allow uranium prospecting in the area (for help with your letter/mail/call see the text "more info" below). You are welcome to also BCC your emails to ranuarescue AT gmail.com.
Emailing them is just one small thing: but there is MORE you can do to stop the uranium pollution in Lapland. Stay tuned for more info...
Uranium Mining Threatens Nature and People in Ranua - Short Background Information
On the 1st of September 2008, Areva Resources Finland Oy submitted their application for a mining claim in the area of Asentolamminoja, on the border between the Ranua and Rovaniemi municipalities, to the Ministry of Employment and Economy. Before any decision or approval of the application, the company started digging in preparation of test drilling in November 2008 in the southern end of the area, at Isokangas, with the permission of the land owner.
In August 2009, the municipal board of Ranua gave their supporting stance on the mining project. Local people opposing the mining fear that Areva will start the test drilling when they want. According to law, the company should wait for the claim approval from the Ministry of Employment and Economy.
On the claim area there are several marshes and small waters that are connected to the groundwater reserves. The area is part of the watershed of the Simo river (i.e. the water flows to the river), which is designated as a NATURA2000 area. If the claim goes ahead, there would be in total over 10 kilometres of drillings and they would extend below the level of the groundwater reserves. If radioactive ore gets in contact with the water, the consequences are likely to be fatal both for the area's groundwater and for the Simo river.
The Geological SurveyCentre of Finland, who is participating in the prospecting, denies the existence of the risk, despite the fact that spoiling of the groundwater has often been a direct consequence of uranium prospecting elsewhere.
Around the world, uranium mining has resulted in extreme environmental destruction. In Europe it has been abolished precisely because of environmental problems. AREVA, the company active in Ranua, is responsible for, among other things, enormous environmental destruction in their mining regions in Niger, and in France for the algae-based processing of mining tailings (i.e. leftover rock & sediment), which created a public scandal. In Finland, AREVA is also building the new (EPR) reactor in Olkiluoto, which has turned into a fiasco.
Ranua-based activists have tried to inform the decision-makers and municipal inhabitants about the problems of uranium mining. They have collected names for a ban on uranium mining at different events, written to regional papers and arranged informational events, among other things. However, a local civil movement has quite limited power of influence, when put against the massive lobbying machine of the uranium power industry, and the state's energy policies, that favour mining in northern Finland.
The "No Uranium Power!" camp in Tervola, in July 2009, was visited by people from Ranua opposed to the mining, who asked for support from the anti-nuclear movement. In the workshop that followed the visit, people wanted to start broad nationwide and international activity in support of the people from Ranua. In this situation of emergency, all available methods should be used to stop the project. We call everyone concerned by the issue to act!
Images of the Action Day
- Demo Flyer of Finnish Activists
- German Ranua Action Flyer (Magdeburg): 144 dpi | 300 dpi
- German Ranua Action Flyer (A5) (Berlin): A5 | for printing on A4
- Postcard for creative protest messages German/English
- Warning signs for creative actions (used on Ranua Action Day in Magdeburg): English | German
- August 12, 2009: Internationaler Aktionstag gegen Uranabbau: Ranua Rescue Action Day mit Aktionen in mehreren deutschen Staedten German
- August 12, 2009: International Action Day Against Uranium Mining: Ranua Rescue Action Day With Actions In Several Countries English
- August 12, 2009: Internationaler Aktionstag gegen Uranabbau - 'Uranabbau' auf Magdeburgs Bahnhofsvorplatz German
- Ranua Rescue Action Day in Magdeburg (October 2009) German
- Pysäytä uraanin louhinta Ranualla! (August 2009) German
- Images of the Ranua Rescue Action Day on Ydinvoima (August, 2009)
- Ureinwohner Lapplands durch Uranabbau bedroht (August 19th, 2009) German
- Indymedia Germany: Ranua Rescue Action Day in Magdeburg (August 18th, 2009) German
- Indymedia Linksunten: Ranua Rescue Action Day in Magdeburg (August 18th, 2009) German
- Indymedia Germany: Stoppt den Uranabbau in Ranua! (August 18th, 2009) German
- Indymedia Linksunten: Pysäytä uraanin louhinta Ranualla! (August August 18th, 2009) German
- Mielenosoitus Helsingissä - Ei uraanikaivoksia Ranualle! (August 17th, 2009) Finnish
- В четверг, 13 августа в Хельсинки и Тампере прошли демонстрации против планов добычи урана на севере Финляндии (August 15th, 2009) Russian
- Uraanista tarvitaan tietoa (August 14th, 2009) Finnish
- Lapin uraanikuohu levisi Helsinkiin (August 13th, 2009) Finnish
- Tampereella ja Helsingissä osoitettiin mieltä uraanikaivoksia vastaan (August 13th, 2009) Finnish
- Kolme seppää puettiin vastustamaan ydinvoimaa (August 13th, 2009) Finnish
- Ranua rescuen tukimiekkarin satoa... (August 13th, 2009) Finnish
- tukimielenosoitukset helsingissa ja tampereella uraaniuhkapeli lopetettava ranualla (August 13th, 2009) Finnish
- Call for action against uranium mining in Finland (August 12th, 2009) English
- Ranualaisille uraanin vastustajille tukea mielenosoituksilla (August 12th, 2009) Finnish
- Indymedia Linksunten: Internationaler Aktionstag gegen Uranabbau auch in mehreren deutschen Städten (August 12th, 2009) German
- Uraanin etsintä lopetettava Ranualla! (August 12th, 2009) Finnish
- Indymedia Germany: Internationaler "RescueRanua"-Aktionstag (August 8th, 2009) German
- Indymedia International: Stop Uranium Prospecting at Ranua - International Action Day 13th of August (August 9th, 2009) English
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