In Finland, uranium extraction was the main focus on the Day of Action, April 20th 2011. Around 50 people participated in the demonstration against uranium mining in Helsinki centre. At the end of the demonstration, a group of ”mine workers” in white overalls claimed a uranium mine in front of the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy. The activists wanted to bring attention to the ministry’s short-sighted and damaging mining policies.
Talvivaara polymetallic mine in Sotkamo, in the northeast of Finland, is planning to recover uranium for the nuclear industry. If their plans are carried out, Talvivaara will become the biggest uranium-producing mine in Europe. This could be the start of large-scale uranium production in Northern Finland.”The decisions made today have far-reaching consequences. The ministry seems willing to turn Finland into a paradise for the uranium and nuclear industries. This would destroy both the image and reality of pristine Finnish nature, and kill the chances for sustainable livelihoods in the region”, said one participant.
Over the first three years of its operation, three leaks and other accidents have occurred in the Talvivaara mine. Waters and land in the area has already been polluted. Local residents in Sotkamo fear that the uranium recovery facility will increase the mine’s environmental risks. Talvivaara’s new partner in uranium processing is Cameco, a Canadian company infamous for leaking radioactive waste into the Ontario lake.
Uranium production was not mentioned at all when the mine’s environmental permits were originally granted, even though the site was well-known for its uranium-rich ore. Therefore the permits must be cancelled and the mine closed. Wherever uranium has been mined, the surrounding communities and nature have suffered. Uranium mining has been stopped nearly everywhere in Europe.
Close down Talvivaara mine: mining uranium-rich ore is always an environmental risk! People in Eastern and Northern Finland must have the right to determine their future and economy themselves!
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