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Human Rights

The entire nuclear fuel chain involves the release of radioactivity, contamination of the environment and damage to human health. Most often, communities of color, indigenous peoples or those of low-income are targeted to bear the brunt of these impacts, particularly the damaging health and environmental effects of uranium mining. The nuclear power industry inevitably violates human rights. While some of our human rights news can be found here, we also focus specifically on this area on out new platform, Beyond Nuclear International.

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Wednesday
Dec082010

"Left in the dust: AREVA's radioactive legacy in the desert towns of Niger"

This May 2010 Greenpeace International report focuses on uranium mining impacts in Niger. In one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking last in the Human Development Index of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), where more than 40% of children are underweight for their age, water and access to improved water sources is scarce and almost three quarters of the population are illiterate, the French nuclear giant AREVA extracts precious—and deadly—natural resources, earning billions for its Fortune 500 corporation, and leaving little behind but centuries of environmental pollution and health risks for the citizens of Niger. Beyond Nuclear colleague Bruno Chareyron -- of the independent French radiological testing laboratory CRIIRAD -- contributed to this report. So did Rianne Tuele, Energy Campaigner with Greenpeace Africa/International, currently based in Johannesburg, who spoke at an anti-uranium mining summit in Richmond, Virginia in early 2010.

Friday
Oct292010

Photos from the Nuclear-Free Future Awards, New York, September 30

© orla connolly. Top to bottom: singer Pete Seeger; presenter Amy Goodman with NFFA founder Claus Biegert; presenter and singer Patti Smith; winners Hilma Mote, Henry Red Cloud. (Other winners: Oleg Bodrov, Bruno Barrillot).

Tuesday
Aug312010

International physicians group calls for ban on uranium mining

The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) adopted a resolution at its International Council meeting on Sunday in Basel, Switzerland, calling for a ban on uranium mining and the production of yellowcake (uranium oxide). The resolution described both processes as “irresponsible” and “a grave threat to health and to the environment”.

The resolution also describes uranium mining and yellowcake production as a “violation of human rights”. The right to life, liberty and security, to physical integrity, self-determination, the protection of human dignity, the right to clean water are just some of the rights that are afflicted by uranium mining and its processes, say the doctors.

The resolution follows on from a conference entitled “Sacred Lands, Poisoned People” held on August 26th, also in Basel, on uranium mining in which Beyond Nuclear's Linda Gunter participated. Activists from all of the major mining regions around the world (including Manuel Pino from Acoma Pueblo, pictured), many of them representing indigenous peoples, gathered together and exchanged information collated on health effects and damage to the environment. The group issued a call for the ban in a joint statement at the conclusion of their talks. As a result of this data, representatives from the German and Swiss IPPNW affiliates submitted a resolution calling for a ban to the bi-annual meeting of the international IPPNW federation.



Monday
Aug232010

Quebec mining opponents camped out at national assembly

Quebec residents concerned about mining exploration have set up a mock camp in front of the national assembly, where hearings on amending the province's natural resources laws are underway this week. The coalition is demanding Quebec's Liberal government amend its mining law to exclude all urban and residential areas from potential exploration. In Sept-Îles, Terra Ventures has a temporary exploration permit to drill for uranium, a radioactive heavy metal used in nuclear power facilities. (Photo: CMDN).

Wednesday
Jul282010

Traditional owners fight Australian nuclear dump

Traditional owners of Muckaty Station in Australia will fight a nuke dump on their land claiming that they were not properly consulted about the dump and that the government decision to construct it is void. See the story.