Jaduguda Uranium Mines

By: Ashley Abraham SFSU 2017

The Jaduguda Mines provide 25% of material that fuel India’s nuclear reactors[1]. However, 28% of the uranium mined are  waste and are then dumped into ponds[2]. This is an environmental issue due to the uranium radiation emitting from the ponds and the mines. Villagers reported many health issues such as fertility loss and deformities[3]. Another issue is the loss of land due to the mines which made farmers jobless[4]. I will show that the energy injustices at this site arose due to the resource curse.

Workers in the Jaduguda mines.

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DaTong coal mining, China

Written at SFSU in 2017.
Datong mining area is located in Datong City, southwest of Datong, a city of coal mining and coal industry. With the continuous development of coal resources, the surrounding environment is impacted to varying degrees. The coal mining production and coal consumption creates air and water pollution[1].  I will show the energy injustices of this site acrose through the coal mining at this site occur because of environmental racism and scrifice zones.

An open coal mine in Chifeng , China.


Coal mining on the rise in China, US, India

According to Cohen (2014),  ” as the end of 2014, China had 62 billion tons of anthracite and 52 billion tons of lignite quality coal. China ranks third in the world in terms of total coal reserves behind the United States and Russia”[2].  World Nuclear Association found “Most coal reserves are located in the north and north-west of the country, which poses a large logistical problem for supplying electricity to the more heavily populated coastal areas”[3]. At current levels of production, China has 30 years worth of reserves.

The miner in DaTong, China.

When the factories in China’s coastal areas sell their products to the world, when the city people move into high-rise buildings to acquire new cars, the miners are a group of people who work hard in dangerous environments and create value for society and the family but they have difficult lives[5].

[6] A worker carries a sack of coal, it’s a hard and dirty work but that’s the only job he can find because DaTong whole city is work for the coal.

Coal burning pollution.

In cities China didn’t allowed coal burning indoor any more, but people still using coal to cook at small village. This will cause houses fill with high levels of toxic metals smoke[7].

According to Finkelman et al.,” people eat food cooked over coal fires which contains toxic substances. Toxic substances from coal burning include arsenic, fluorine, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and mercury. Health issues are caused which include severe arsenic poisoning, skeletal fluorosis (over 10 million people afflicted in China), esophageal and lung cancers, and selenium poisoning” (3427) [8].

Effects of Coal Mining on Water Resources in Mining Area.

Coal mines are mainly concentrated in the mouth spring ditch, Yungang ditch and its sides. “Shilihe, Zhiquan ditch for the main water system, but also mine drainage, industrial wastewater and domestic sewage exports”[1].

1)coal mines use a large amount of water also discharge tons of wastewater, resulting in waste of water resources, so that the groundwater resources tense both for coal mining and DaTong city residents[1].
2) During the development of coal mines, groundwater penetrates the coal-bearing strata to penetrate into the lower pit, which reduces the amount of water in the upper aquifer and reduces the water level, which causes the water shortage of the local residents[9].
3) Due to the long-term drainage to form a pit-centered drop funnel, the groundwater level in the mining area is reduced, the amount of well water is reduced, the river runoff is reduced or cut off, thus affecting the normal supply of water downstream of the river[10].
4) Coal mining after mining, underground mined-out area to become water collection space, those place are not stable could cause manmade ground collapse. It will harm for miner and residence[1].

Video from youTube: Creek in Datong China Pollution Issue This scale of coal mining water pollution exemplifies a serious environmental issue at coal mining area.

Environmental Injustice.

China’s econmic is growing so fast today, city like DaTong have to sacrifice their own city to genrate China’s developing engine, China is developing very fast but Datong’s residents and miners have to facing environmental pollution caused by  coal mining. It is unfair let the Datong’s people bear the pressure of development


[1] Zhang C.Y, Water Environment Analysis and Water Resources Protectionof Datong Mining Area in Shanxi Province. Shanxi coking Coal Science & Technology. Received September 2010.


[2] Cohen, Armond (April 21, 2014). “Learning from China: A Blueprint for the Future of Coal in Asia?”The National Bureau of Asian Research. Retrieved August 8, 2014.


[3] “Nuclear Power in China”Country BriefingsWorld Nuclear Association. 31 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-04.


[4] “Asian coal boom: climate threat or mirage?”Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit. Mar 22, 2016. Archived from the original on April 24, 2016.


[5] Tan Z. F, Chen K. T, Ju L. W, Liu P. K, Zhang C. Issues and solutions of China’s generation resource utilization based on sustainable development. Journal of Modern Power Systems and Clean Energy. April 2016, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 147–160


[6] China Labour bulletin. Coal mine accidents in China decrease as production stagnates. Supporting the Workers’ Movement in China. 03/04/2014


[7] Environmental Health Perspectives. Household Air Pollution from Coal and Biomass Fuels in China: Measurements, Health Impacts, and Interventions. Received July 3, 2006; Accepted February 27, 2007.


[8] Finkelman R.B, Harvey E. Belkin, and Baoshan Zheng. Health impacts of domestic coal use in ChinaProc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 March 30; 96(7): 3427–3431.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC34284/

[9] Gabbard, A (5 February 2008). “Coal Combustion: Nuclear Resource or Danger”. Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Archived from the original on 5 February 2007. Retrieved 2008-10-22.


[10] Zhang H. J, Tan Z. F, Xu H (2013) Research on generation coal-saving effect of the tiered pricing of residential electricity under different power generation structures. In: Proceedings of the 2nd international conference on automatic control and mechatronic engineering (ICACME’13), Bangkok, Thailand, 21–22 Jun 2013, pp 679–701


Oil Refinery in Peruvian Amazon

By: Jillian Solomon, SFSU, 2017

The Iquitos Refinery is 14km from Iquitos City, Peru, in the Loreto Region, capital of the Peruvian Amazon [1]. A city deep within the jungle, inaccessible by road, with approximately 437,620 inhabitants [2]. It is a small refinery situated in a resource rich region, located on the left bank of the Amazon river with a capacity of 10,500 barrels per day [3]. Equipped with a rusty four-decade old pipeline used to transport extracted crude oil, making oil spills inevitable [4]. These spills stain the land that many indigenous communities in Iquitos depend on for their survival. This analysis will show the energy injustices at this site, and how they arose, through the theory of the resource curse.

Map of Iquitos, Peru

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Proposed Oil Rigs in Greeley, Colorado

Written at SFSU in 2017.

An oil drilling site has been proposed next to the Bella Romero Academy, a public middle school that is located in Greeley, Colorado [1]. The energy injustice at this site arose because the Colorado Oil & Gas Company has proposed to build the oil rigs only 1,300 ft away from a Latino predominate school [2].

Welcome to Greeley, Colorado sign (Bbean32, 2014).

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Oil Drilling in Yasuni National Park, Ecuador

Written at SFSU in 2017

Yasuni national park is a portion of the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador. The national park is known for its diverse ecosystem, which is home to countless species of plants, insects, amphibians, birds, and mammals. Yasuni is being exploited for a valuable resource, in the hopes of economic development for Ecuador. The drilling in the Yasuni National Park is a site of energy injustice as a result of environmental colonialism and sacrifice zones.

Toxic oil spill in Ecuador from Chevron (flickr, 2010)

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Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Effects Indigenous Tribes in Grand Bayou, LA

Written by Natalie, SFSU, 2017

Indigenous communities, like the Atakapa-Ishak tribe, living in the Grand Bayou have been forced off their native land because of man-made environmental destruction over the last 50 years. The tipping point came in 2010 when the Deepwater Horizon oil spill  turned the Grand Bayou into a sacrifice zone. 

Deepwater Horizon oil unit on fire in the Gulf of Mexico

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Gibson Generating Station, IN

Written at SFSU in 2017

The United States is a powerhouse when it comes to coal generated power. About 65% of the power we generate comes from fossil fuels[4].The Gibson Generating Station located in Indiana is just one of the many coal based power generating sites that contribute to these statistics. Built as a two unit coal fired power plant in 1972, it continued to grow into the 90’s when it finally became a five unit site[5].

In this article I will illustrate the energy injustice happening in the area surrounding the Gibson Generating Station and the connection to the resource curse theory.

Gibson Generating Station during the night.

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