Thursday, December 23, 2010

Radioactive spill in Arlit, Niger, home to "significant quantities of uranium from Africa"

French physicist and anti-nuclear activist Bruno Chareyron
took this photograph of chidren in Arlit, Niger, who often lay
near garbage contaminated by France-Areva's uranium
mine there.
Arlit, Niger, in the Sahara Desert, surfaced in international news in January 2003, when George W. Bush, in his State of the Union Address, said what came to be known as "the sixteen words," which became a central pretext for the Iraq War:

“The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

At the time, no one noted that France had used its former colony, Niger, as its national uranium mine, ever since the conclusion of World War II, as it developed its nuclear power and weapons industries, or that it had severely contaminated Niger, home of the legendary Touareg nomads, in the process.

Last week there was news of yet another radioactive waste spill in Arlit, that has contaminated 2 hectares, or, roughly five acres, of land in Arlit, since December 11th, 2010.


Areva Uranium Mine in Niger Has Waste Spill, Greenpeace Says

Dec. 18 (Bloomberg) -- At least 200,000 cubic liters of radioactive waste has leaked at the Areva SA-operated Somair uranium mine in NigerGreenpeace said today in an e-mailed statement.
"Almoustapha Alhacen who carried out an inspection of the spill for NGO Aghir in'Man confirmed to Greenpeace that two hectares have been contaminated by the spill since Dec. 11," Greenpeace said.

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