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Proposed uranium mine poses danger to goldfields, workers, road and rail users.



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PROPOSED URANIUM MINE POSES DANGER TO GOLDFIELDS, WORKERS, ROAD AND RAIL USERS

Media Release | Spokesperson Scott Ludlam Monday 2nd February 2009, 5:29pm

The safety of communities and workers in the Goldfields and along WA transport routes

would be at risk if a proposed uranium mine is allowed, Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said.

“While the chances of spillages and the release of radioactive material remains a possibility -

not matter how remote - all WA communities deserve their safety be taken seriously,”

Senator Ludlam said.

“Mega Uranium’s proposal to mine at Lake Maitland, south-east of Wiluna, will see a

massive 2.5 million tonnes of radioactive tailings dumped at the mine site each year.

“This means that people living and working in the area would risk ingesting radon gas and

dust particles from the tailings carried by the wind.

“It is also proposed that the fine yellowcake powder derived from the mine will be carried by

road to Kalgoorlie, and afterwards by rail to Port Hedland, Adelaide or Darwin.

“Kalgoorlie would therefore become the hub for transporting this deadly material.

“We all know that even with the best safety measures, road and rail accidents do happen in

Australia - last week’s re-derailment east of Kalgoorlie is just one example. If the steel drums

carrying the yellowcake are pierced, then workers, communities and road and rail users are at

risk of breathing in radioactive material, potentially leading to cancer and other illnesses in

years to come.

“WA simply does not have the regulatory framework to address these serious safety concerns

- and no one has yet found a way to make the transport of uranium 100 per cent foolproof,”

Senator Ludlam continued.

“I am also concerned that the mine will require one million gigalitres of water each year -

equivalent to 500 Olympic swimming pools. Supplying drinking water to the Wiluna area is

already problematic, so where will this water come from?”

For more information or media enquiries please call Eloise Dortch on 0415 507 763