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Spent fuel starts with uranium

The government decided in the middle of October that, precisely according to the minister Urban's proposal, it will continue the mining of uranium at least until 2008 (but probably longer) in Dolni Rozinka near Zdar nad Sazavou where the last remaining operational uranium mine in the EU is situated. At the same time it will continue in the related operation of the chemical concentrator in Rozna. As a result, the redevelopment of the location has been postponed, which as a result involves an increase in costs and load on the environment. The surroundings of Dolni Rozinka are burdened with 406 000 m2 of waste-piles following the mining of solvent radons. However, no complex assessment of the ecological impacts of further mining has been presented to the ministers.

The Minister of Industry explains this recent prolonging with the higher price of Uranium on the world markets. He is hiding with this the fact this price does not include the costs for the redevelopment after mining, its processing and the re-cultivation of the landscape. These have been estimated to amount to 57.6 billion CZK up to the year 2040. The taxpayer will have to pay for this, because these costs are not included in the price of selling uranium, which is now almost exclusively extracted by the Czech energy producer ČEZ. Programme for the decreasing of uranium mining have cost 18.8 billion CZK of public finances since 1989. At present there are listed 3 768 former stress-points of the uranium industry within the Czech Republic, of which 2 523 are principal mining grounds and need monitoring and regularly inspecting.

However, the uranium industry keeps looking at any cost for new opportunities and threatens to commence mining in other locations. And this in the Vysocina (Czech Highlands) as well as in South Bohemia. The Environment Minister of Ceske Budejovice recently declined the request of the firm TIMEX ZDICE, who wished to construct investigation facilities for the exploration of uranium deposits in the Strakonice area in the communities of Mecichov, Hlupin, Bratronice, Nahosin and Doubravice. According to previously carried-out explorations there are underground estimated reserves of uranium in the order of 1824 tonnes. Local authorities in the localities of Tasov, Horni Veznice and Jamne na Vysocine have not decided in regard to similar requests to construct exploration bases. According to initial investigations from the 20th century, in Brzkov there is 1 600 tonnes of uranium and near We will oppose a re-instigation of mining.

Edvard Sequens, Calla

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