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Potential Use of Radioactively Contaminated Materials in the Construction of Houses from Open Pit Uranium Mines in Gabon and Niger

Potential Use of Radioactively Contaminated Materials in the Construction of Houses from Open Pit Uranium Mines in Gabon and Niger

Ecologic Institute, represented by Tanja Srebotnjak and Sebastian Veit, completed a study commissioned by the European Parliament (EP) on the use of radioactively contaminated materials in the construction of residential dwellings in Gabon and Niger. In particular, the study examines practices in the disposal of materials discarded in the mining of uranium in these two countries and is based, inter alia, on a fact-finding mission to Gabon by Sebastian Veit.

The results, which indicate gross negligence in the operation of the mine and lack of safety measures in the treatment and disposal of radioactively contaminated mining materials and dust, were presented in a hearing to the Committee for Social Affairs and the Environment on 25 October 2010 and the final report was submitted on 28 October 2010.

The presentation was met with considerable interest and triggered multiple inquiries by Member of the EP and ambassadors of the countries concerned. In a letter, Ms. Michéle Rivasi, Head of the Committee, voiced the appreciation of its members for the work done and expressed the hope that the fruits of the hearing will get the attention and public awareness that this important issue deserves.

The study, which ran from July through October 2010, examined the practices in the disposal of materials discarded in the mining of uranium – and their effects on the environment and human health – in these two countries and in addition to secondary sources such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Greenpeace International is based on a fact-finding mission to Gabon by Sebastian Veit. In Gabon Sebastian Veit visited the capital Libreville, the town Franceville, and the mining village Mounana. He interviewed representatives of the Gabonese Red Cross, a local hospital and clinic, the former miners association, and others.

The report [pdf, 1.9 MB, English, French] is available from the EP and was part of the Framework Contract Development Policy.


Citation

Veit, Sebastian and Tanja Srebotnjak 2010: Potential use of radioactively contaminated materials in the construction of houses from open pit uranium mines in Gabon and Niger. Ecologic Institute, Brussels.

Language
English, French
Author(s)
Sebastian Veit
Funding
Publisher
Year
2010
Published In
Publications of the Directore-General for External Policies, Policy Department
Dimension
32 pp.
Project ID
2610-07
Table of Contents

    Introduction
    Global Production of Uranium
    Gabon
    Niger
    International Standards and Safeguards for Mining Practices
    Recommendations and Conclusions

Keywords
Uranium, mining, radioactivity, safety, public health, Gabon, Niger, Africa