CEO dismisses Japanese nuclear disaster to promote Alice Springs uranium mine
CEO dismisses Japanese nuclear disaster to promote Alice Springs uranium mine The Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) says comments attributed to Paladin CEO John Borshoff on the Angela Pamela uranium deposit are disingenuous and insulting to people still suffering from the effects of the Fukushima disaster in Japan.
“Claims that Fukushima is behind us are a gross insult to the intelligence of the public here in Australia and completely misrepresent the situation in Japan. In Japan the ongoing problems from the reactor disasters are far from in a state of ‘clear air’ – the real and political fallout is ongoing,” was the response today from PHAA Spokesperson Clive Rosewarne on reports that the exploration company Paladin was keeping the uranium deposit at Angela Pamela (around 25kms south of Alice Springs) on its proposed projects list.
“Comments attributed to Paladin CEO John Borshoff in the NT News and on ABC News look like a desperate attempt to talk up an industry to investors who are rightly looking to place their money on better investment options. The price of uranium continues to fall amid growing international rejection of nuclear power by the public and their governments.”
In July this year the Japanese Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission reported most of the 150,000 evacuees ‘continue to face grave concerns, including the health effects of radiation exposure, displacement, the dissolution of families, disruption of their lives and lifestyles and the contamination of vast areas of the environment.’ And that ‘There is no foreseeable end to the decontamination and restoration activities that are essential for rebuilding communities.’
“The Angela Pamela deposit has been soundly rejected as an option on the doorstep of Alice Springs,” said Mr Rosewarne. In recent NT elections anti-uranium candidates polled strongly – often against the general NT voting trend. He continued, “People in Alice Springs don’t want this project both for its impact locally and because of the events at Fukushima.”
Preliminary modelling undertaken by PHAA shows that prevailing winds would pose a risk of contamination to residents in the local vicinity, particularly those in the jail, the Joint Defence Facility (Pine Gap) and rural areas.
“Given the right wind and weather conditions, failure of dust suppression and tailings management at any Angela Pamela mine means people around Alice Springs are at a low but still significant risk of dust exposure. Workers at the Brewer Industrial Estate, prisoners and officers at the Correctional Facility, staff at the Joint Defence Facility at Pine Gap and residents of the Iwupataka Homelands face this risk. In Alice Springs itself, workers and tourists at the airport and residents at Amoonguna are at lower risk. The Ilparlpa subdivision carries an intermediate risk. Grazing cattle and station workers in the surrounding country would always be at some risk,” concludes Dr Peter Tait author of the study.
With their joint venture partner having taken a step back, Paladin CEO Borshoff’s description of the Angela Pamela deposit as a ‘key project’ may reflect more upon his personal attachment to the deposit (he was involved in the early exploration of the site in the 1970-80’s) rather than on the economic or social reality facing the project,” concluded Mr Rosewarne.
For further information/comment Clive Rosewarne, Spokesperson for PHAA Ecology and Environment Special Interest Group: 0487 282 303
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