Adversaries of Uranium Mining Agreed That Water Is More Precious Than Uranium
Kotel, 20th September 2008 - Almost two hundred of people gathered under the thousand-year-old linden in village Kotel near Osečná in Liberec region to declare their protest against planned uranium mining in this area. Similar activities on the today's occasion of International Uranium Action Day were taking place in other six countries of Europe, in Russia and in Australia - at the places where local communities are endangered by uranium mining.
A part of this action in Kotel was apart from other things a theatre performance of a local amateur theatre group Vojan. They parody efforts of foreign speculators to mine uranium in Bohemia.
Uranium was begun to mine in Straž pod Ralskem area in 60's of last century. It was being done by the worst known method - insitu acid leaching. During almost 20 years sulfuric was pumped underground in such amount that would fill up the Slapy dam (270 000 000 m3). This act caused not only the massive contamination of underground but also a great danger of the drinking water reservoir for whole region. That was the reason why the mining was stopped here.
"The problem of contamination after the uranium mining in Straž pod Ralskem is so large that we will fight with it for tens of years and its stabilization will be paid by tens of milliard crowns of all of us from our tax. Nevertheless mining companies dare to suggest renewing of uranium mining nowadays. This time even in more inhabited areas towards Liberec," informed Hana Gabrielová from Calla organization which acts actively against renewing of uranium mining.
"Drinking water is obviously more precious for people than uranium. It seems to us absolutely absurd that mining companies plan renewing of mining only 5 kilometers far from the place where the reservoir of drinking water is. This reservoir supplies with drinking water nearby Liberec - the town with more than a hundred thousand inhabitants," emphasized Josef Jadrný, an organizer of today's action from organization Naše Podještědí.
"From experience I know how incredibly difficult and expensive removing contamination after uranium mining from an area is," said Dr. Gavin Mudd, an Australian hydrogeologist dealing with impacts of uranium mining, who came to Kotel near Osečná to get to know the local situation and support the local community. "Uranium mining is a business, whose the only aim is to earn money. Water is for all people and its value is going to be more and more precious," emphasized Mudd.