Stop Uranium Prospecting at Ranua - International Action Day 13th of August
Ranua Rescue group
09 Aug 2009 09:38 GMT
In Ranua - a municipality located in Lapland, Finland - the soil and groundwater are in danger of being contaminated by uranium prospecting.
Wetlands In Lapland In Danger By Uranium Mining
Another Area Where Areva Wants to Mine Uranium
The Areas Endangered By Uranium Mining Are Largely Pristine Ecosystems
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 list at: http://ranua.nuclear-heritage.net). 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. You are welcome to also BCC your emails to email@example.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...
More information about the situation in Ranua:
On the 1st 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!