TWO OPPOSITION MPs, Ivan Štefanec and Viliam Novotný from the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), are proposing to place a legal ban on uranium mining on the territory of the Slovak Republic. They claim that the Slovak Constitution guarantees everyone the right to a favourable environment and protection of health, the SITA newsire reported.

"These rights may be compromised if, despite opposition from society and residents of the relevant area, the mining companies get approval for mining uranium,” the two MPs stated, as quoted by SITA. “The most affected areas would be around Trenčín and Košice.”

Their proposal lists several reasons for banning uranium mining, the first of which is the adverse effect on the health of people living in mining areas, especially higher occurrences of cancer, female sterility and newborns with birth defects. They also draw attention to issues of environmental devastation – the very low mineral content in the ore would require extracting huge amounts of the ore itself, which after processing is then stored in heaps and tailing ponds.

"The stored material and sludge is also radioactive and contains other toxic substances, such as arsenic, lead and other heavy metals,” SITA quoted the MPs as saying. “Redevelopment of such areas is costly.”

Contaminated groundwater poses another risk, in the event of cave-ins in the mines. One of the mining areas under consideration at Jahodna is a source of water for the Bukovec and Ruzin reservoirs and the Čermelský stream. Mining would at the same time endanger tourism.

The Slovak Parliament should debate the draft bill to ban uranium mining at its upcoming May session.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.