Archive for October, 2016

The Silver Snake of Death

October 29, 2016

I was born on the 31 December 1946 at 22:20. My mother assured me later that she had carried me through the Victory over Japan celebrations. Well I should have been a baby elephant as those happened on the 15th September 1945!

As a toddler, I walked with my parent and grandparents from 1 Argyle Avenue Mosside Manchester across town to see aunts. I saw the sea of grey ash which was all that remained on those areas destroyed in Hilter’s Blitz. 7 Terrace houses stood out. The Aunts lived in the middle one. Over the way stood Man United’s stadium.

We could walk there safely

However, the US Command had to take revenge on Japan for Pearl Harbour, even though the Emperor of Japan and his ministers were suing for peace. To prove their power, they dropped the atomic bomb on both Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

What do Hiroshima and Nagasaki bring up for you?

Blackened remains of those vapourised in the explosions? The destruction of two cities and most of their inhabitants?

In fact, do you even know of Shinkolobwe? Have you any idea of where it is or what happens there? It is here that the uranium was mined for these bombs. Polluting forever the pristine rivers of Katanga – now the DRC.

This cost the life of Patrice Lumumba, who was murdered in 1960.

I have so much sorrow in my heart around nuclear and uranium mining.

Now I can start to tell you why.

I will move to South Africa, where my real education started. We have a mining waste belt in South Africa stretching from Virginia and Welkom in the Free State to Nigel in Gauteng. The mining dumps from the gold mines also contain uranium, as both were mined together. Initially the uranium was simply dumped. Then, in 1952, the government discovered a useful export market to the USA , France and UK. So they began enriching the uranium to access this market. This produces even more radioactive waste. Probably stored on the mining dumps, because, after all only blacks live there.

I failed to tell you that this is the worldwide story – indigenous peoples are those most affected and destroyed by uranium mining. They are then discarded and left to die.

However the wheels fell of when sanctions came in in 1982. No more exports, so the Nats dumped 60 000 tons of uranium on the mine dumps. A fine radioactive power, blowing in the wind, together with the release of radium and, more importantly, odourless, colourless Radon gas – a toxic combination designed to create a crime against humanity.

No-one has been held accountable for this. The ANC government has made no attempt to rectify the situation. In fact their relationships with the various mining companies including the Gupta family, who own an uranium mine, leave their intentions very suspect.

Children are dying in our mining waste areas, they are being born deformed, people are dying on breathing in fine dust and finally suffocating. The cancer takes longer.

This cost of nuclear has never, ever been included in the cost of nuclear anywhere in the world. Nor have the costs of closing down a working reactor and storing the waste ever been included.

Then we have Fukushima and Windscale – both too radioactive to address.

Ladies and gentlemen – is nuclear truly a safe, clean and cheap source of power?

Nuclear has many dead and dying people, ecosystems and water sources as its legacy. It has a extremely bad record for not delivering on budget and on time.

I await your answer