Tummalapalle Uranium Mine

By: Veronica Wong, SFSU, 2017

uranium mining
Hazardous Uranium Mining Site

          

The Tummalapalle Mine located in Andhra Pradesh, India is Uranium mine that has caused environmental, health, and economic concerns for the residents of the area. The Tummalapalle Mine is known to be one of the largest Uranium reserves in the world [1] (Ramakrishna, S.,2006). UCIL (Uranium Corporation of India Ltd) is the group that is heading the project [2] (WISE, 2017).  India’s ultimate goal is to be an energy independent country and Uranium mining is one of the strategies of achieving that goal[3](Sunderanrajan, P.,2011). Along with the uranium mine, located nearby the mine in Tummalapalle is the Uranium processing plant which also is hazardous [4] (WISE, 2017). I will show that the energy injustices at this site arose because of a theory is known as the sacrifice zone.

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES:

·      Water pollution — due to mining the drinking water has been contaminated [5] (The Hindu, 2013).
·      Soil degradation — increased levels of heavy metals have been affecting agriculture [6] (The News Minute, 2017).

HEALTH ISSUES: [7] (WISE, 2017)

·      Cancer

·      Respiratory issues

·      Birth defects

ECONOMIC HARDSHIPS:

·      Due to the compromised soil degradation, the major agriculture business that the town depends on are negatively affected [8] (Business Line, 2006).

  • The livestock could potentially be affected if they accidentally drink the contaminated water resulting from the tailing pipeline across the farms [9] (The Hindu,2013).

SOCIAL INJUSTICES:

In August of 2007, the CCEA (Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs) gave approval for the establishment of the uranium mine and processing plant [10] (WISE, 2017). When it came to the “public hearing “ on the topic of the uranium mining project, the NGOs that are against these mining projects claim that these public hearings are “based on irrelevant pronouncements is a mere formality and cannot be construed as obtaining the consent of people in a democratic manner” [11] (WISE, 2017). Over 12,000 people in the region will be affected and exposed to radiation and other risks. The MAUP (Movement Against Uranium Project) called the public hearing a “mockery” because of the staged managed environmental public hearing [12] (Joseph, 2018).

It is clear to see that there is a sight of injustice here in which the theory of a sacrifice zone is clearly marked. Although India itself is going to be benefiting from the Uranium mining in order to reach their goal to be more independent in their uranium/nuclear energy efforts for the country. A sacrifice zone is the idea that there is a particular group that will be forced to have to live with the negative consequences of the uranium mining for the greater “national good” and in order for their country to progress in the right direction.

These small neighboring villages will need to live with the social, economic, environment, health impacts of the mine and processing plant which is clearly what is happening at the Tummapalle mining site. Despite the community’s efforts to speak up and use their voices in protecting their villages, it is shut down and ignored by the company running the operation. The villagers’ health is being put at risk and sacrificed for the “greater good” of the country in their goals of meeting their nuclear energy goal.

REFERENCES:

[1]  Ramakrishna, S. (2006). Andhra Uranium Mining Project Gives Locals Short Shrift.  Retrieved from http://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/andhra-uranium-mining-project-gives-locals-short-shrift-8486

[2]  WISE. (World Information Service on Energy) . (2017). New Uranium Mining Projects – Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, India . Retrieved from http://www.wise-uranium.org/upinap.html#AP

[3]  Sunderanrajan, P. (2011) . Tummalapalle in A.P. Could Have One of World’s Largest Uranium Reserves.  Retrieved from http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tummalapalle-in-ap-could-have-one-of-worlds-largest-uranium-reserves/article2248407.ece

[4]  Wise, 2017.

[5]  The Hindu. (2013). Nuclear plant to come up at Pulivendula. Retrieved from http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/Nuclear-plant-to-come-up-at-Pulivendula/article16347811.ece

[6]  The News Minute. (2017).  One Lakh Tonnes of Uranium Reserve In Andhra’s Tummalapalle Mine?.  Retrieved from  http://www.thenewsminute.com/article/one-lakh-tonnes-uranium-reserve-andhras-tummalapalle-mine-all-you-need-know-56043

[7] Wise, 2017.

[8] Business Line. (2006). MAUP Opposes Proposed Uranium Ore Mining. Retrieved from http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/todays-paper/tp-economy/maup-opposes-proposed-uranium-ore-mining/article1745185.ece

[9]  The Hindu, (2013).

[10] Wise, 2017.

[11] Wise, 2017.

[12] Lison Joseph. (2008). Protests Hold Up Uranium Mining Projects in Andhra, Meghalaya. Retrieved from http://www.livemint.com/Politics/PmupC8HC7U5sItcjZBQWkI/Protests-hold-up-uranium-mining-projects-in-Andhra-Meghalay.html

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