Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Call for action against uranium mining in Finland

Media Release

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

"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

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.

Dear editor:
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] or by telephone
number +44-7624-194877. More background information is provided by
the webpage of the action day:

- --
Nuclear Heritage Network

c/o Jugend-Umweltbuero
Karl-Schmidt-Str. 4
D-39104 Magdeburg

Tel.: +44 7624 194877

contact [at]

This media release is provided by the "Nuclear Heritage Netzwerk".
This is an international network of anti-nuclear activists. This
informal alliance supports the worldwide anti-nuclear work. The
Nuclear Heritage Network is no label, has no standard opinion and no
representatives. All activists of the network speak for themselves or
for the groups they represent.

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