Tag Archives: India

11/28/2011 TABOSHAR RESIDENTS FENCE TAILING DUMP

TABOSHAR RESIDENTS FENCE TAILING DUMP Urgently Kryso Resources to begin development of Pakrut deposit in 2012 Tajik FM leave for Bonn to attend international conference on Afghanistan 28/11/2011 11:25 Bakhtiyor Valiyev KHUJAND, November 28, 2011, Asia-Plus — Residents of the northern city of Taboshar have begun to fence the nearby tailing dump. The Taboshar residents began to fence the so-called “acid lake” and to clear the Sarimsakli River on November 25. The fence is expected to be finished within the next few weeks.

Ishoqjon Zokirov, the head of the NGO Amaliyot baroi Hayot (Action fro Life), they have changed the course of the Sarimsakli River after the radiation level in the river was measured at more than 140 microroentgen per hour that exceeds the acceptable norm. All the works are carried out under support of the OSCE Office in Tajikistan and the Committee for Emergency Situations (CES)’s office in Sughd province.

The works are carried out in a form of “hasher” (Central Asia’s tradition of voluntary work to benefit the community), Zokirov said. A roundtable entitled “Water Sanitary in the Aspect of Radiation Threat in Taboshar” was held on November 25 as well. Organized by the Taboshar mayor’s office, the Sughd emergency management agency and local environmental protection NGOs under financial support of the OSCE Office in Tajikistan and the Act Central Asia, the meeting discussed issues related to water sanitary and radiation safety awareness. The meeting participants also exchanged views on improving safety of water sources in Taboshar.

Tajikistan News: The inhabitants of a settlement Табошар, in north of Tadjikistan, the former workers uranium for the needs of the Soviet nuclear industry, and went on khashar (voluntary workers) digging holes for fence around the future pillars of the so-called “acid lake, said,” Asia Plus “.” According to the organizers of the work day, in the coming weeks fence will be built.

As chairman of the NGO “Amaliet baro hayot” Isokdzhon Zakirov, the river channel, which flows near the tailings dam, changed after the measurement was made by the background radiation areas. He has made over 140 micro-roentgen per hour, which exceeds the permitted limit. This was done in order to prevent soil erosion, which covers the tailings, including radionuclides, because the local population uses the water source for various purposes, and livestock drinking water from it.

Taboshar with a population of about 12,000 residents located just a few kilometers from the inactive Tabosharskogo uranium deposit, which is a huge area of 400 ha occupied by the near-surface waste storage plant, off-balance sheet production waste pits and storage of waste Factories low-grade ores. In the vicinity of the town is more than 10 million tons of radioactive waste. According to the Director of the Agency for Nuclear and Radiation Safety of RT Ulmas Mirsaidov, due to the proximity of tailings to a residential area of prime concern for human health are radioactive radiation, inhalation of radon and its decay products, radioactive dust particles from entering the body is dissolved radioactive and toxic substances through food and water.

Meanwhile, according to the highest category physician, therapist Muhabbat Kamilova, such works should engage specialists, not ordinary people, “and if so the people in despair, went to work day, then they should have been equipped with special protective suits, dosimeters, special products to remove radiation from the body, as was necessary to conduct explanatory work on security measures. “A dig pit ordinary people specially prohibited, since it is underground and concealed uranium waste,” – said the doctor. According to her, about 70% of the total population of the city suffer Taboshar epidemic goiter, increasing infant mortality, congenital malformations and miscarriages.

In late December last year to study the uranium mine in Tajikistan profit professionals from Japan and China. According to the foreigners, if not taken drastic measures to reduce radiation levels, the Over the next 3 years there will need evacuation of all residents of settlements within a radius of 50 kilometers, because the waste will remain hazardous to humans for many hundreds of years. ”

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12/4/2011 AFP: India's uranium mines cast a health shadow

12/4/2011 AFP: India’s uranium mines cast a health shadow By Ammu Kannampilly: Gudiya Das whines as flies settle on her face, waiting for her mother to swat them while she lies on a cot in Ichra, one in a cluster of villages around India’s only functioning uranium mines. The 12-year-old, whose skeletal frame makes her look about half her age, was diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy when she was a year old. “Back then there were 33 disabled kids here, now there are more than a hundred,” her father, Chhatua Das told AFP in his home in Jaduguda valley in the eastern state of Jharkhand. For Das and his wife Lakshmi, who have lost six children before the age of one, there is only one possible culprit — the nearby mines run by the state-owned Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL).

“I know there is some connection between the mining and what’s happened to my daughter,” Lakshmi told AFP. “It’s because of the uranium in the water here.”

Environmental groups say the mining company is polluting the groundwater by dumping radioactive waste inside three so-called tailings ponds that hold the sludge produced by the mining process — a charge vehemently denied by UCIL.

UCIL opened its first mine in Jaduguda in 1967, and has built six more since then, providing work for thousands of local villagers in what was a deeply impoverished area.

With starting salaries of 14,000 rupees ($280) a month, jobs with the mining firm are highly coveted and bring a level of economic prosperity that adds a conflicting layer of complexity to the health risk issue.

Jharkhand is one of India’s poorest states, with more than 40% of the population living on less than $2 a day, according to 2007 World Bank figures.

Ghanshyam Birulee, founder of the Jharkhand Organisation Against Radiation, believes the financial benefits are meaningless when weighed against what his group says is an alarming rise in stillbirths, birth defects, and adults and children diagnosed with cancer, kidney disease, and tuberculosis.

“How did these illnesses suddenly become so commonplace here? It’s because our valley has become a dumping ground for all this nuclear trash,” Birulee said.

“Jaduguda” means “magic fields” in the local language Sadri.

“These days it feels like there’s black magic at work here,” said Birulee, a former apprentice at UCIL who lost both his parents to cancer.

“When people first started getting sick, they thought it was because of witches or evil spirits. We had never seen anything like this,” he told AFP.

UCIL firmly denies any links between its operations and any health issues in Jaduguda.

“The grade of ore is very low, so the level of radioactivity is also very low. If you are 100-120 metres away from the periphery of the tailings ponds, you face no risk,” said A.K. Sarangi, deputy general manager for strategic planning at UCIL.

“We acquired land for several people here and tried to help them move, but they refused. Their intention is to extract as much money as possible from the company now,” Sarangi said.

The company cites a 1998 government-funded study that found no water contamination and rejected the idea that illnesses in Jaduguda could be ascribed to radiation exposure.

Critics say the study, carried out by the Mumbai-based Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, was tainted by association with the nuclear industry, and cite a 2007 report by the non-profit Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD).

That report showed a far greater incidence of congenital abnormality, sterility, and cancer among people living within 2.5 kilometres (1.5 miles) of the mines than those living 35 kilometres away.

Mothers in villages close to the mine sites were also twice as likely to have a child with congenital deformities, it said.

The IDPD is an affiliate of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize winning organisation, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.

The health risks associated with exposure to uranium are well-known. According to the US department of energy, sustained exposure can result in kidney damage and an increased risk of cancer.

A few years ago, the US environmental protection agency noted high levels of radiation in homes and drinking water sources in parts of Arizona state occupied by Navajo people, many of whom worked in the mines operating there from 1944 to 1986.

Developed nations like the United States and Australia employ strict environmental standards to limit the amount of uranium released into the air by mines and processing plants.

They also require mining waste to be disposed of in a manner that limits emissions and keeps groundwater clean, by erecting fences around tailings ponds and building earthen covers to prevent any seepage into the soil.

UCIL officials insist that their mines are in complete compliance with international requirements, and that emission levels are within the accepted limits.

“We have built fences around the tailings ponds, but villagers still cut through them in parts,” to take shortcuts across the land, Sarangi said.

“It is a huge area, it is just not possible to guard it all the time.”

Asha Kaibart lives in a small house about 200 metres from a tailings pond.

Seventeen years ago her son Anil started to have trouble with his eyes. A few years later the same thing happened to his younger sister Sumitra. Doctors said both had sustained severe damage to their optic nerves.

Today, at 29, Anil is totally blind. He and Sumitra rarely leave the house anymore, according to their father Situ, a former UCIL miner.

“I am sure waste from the company mixes with the water we use to bathe,” Asha said, pointing to a small lake nearby.

Birulee says companies like UCIL simply abdicate responsibility, refusing to help families like the Kaibarts and “threatening anyone who supports us” — a charge that UCIL spokesperson Pinaki Roy rejected outright.

“Such allegations pain us. Our social responsibility is very important to us. After all, at least one member of each family here is working for us,” Roy said.