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Council of Canadians supports the “Declaration of the World Uranium Symposium”

World Uranium Symposium

The Declaration of the World Uranium Symposium calls on all nations to put an end to the mining and use of uranium.

A media release notes, “It is a call to action, urging governments to ban the mining and processing of uranium, to eliminate the use of nuclear energy, and to renounce nuclear weapons. …Some 300 experts, members of civil society and indigenous peoples from around the world, meeting recently at the Symposium in Quebec City, launched this global appeal.”

The demands in the declaration include:

  • We demand a worldwide ban on uranium exploration, mining, milling and processing, as well as the reprocessing of nuclear waste, and the irresponsible management of radioactive waste;

  • We call on all states, authorities and Peoples to recognize and respect the rights of Indigenous Peoples including the right to self-determination and to free prior and informed consent achieved through an independent, fair, transparent and impartial process, and to cease the pursuit of uranium- and nuclear-related activities on Indigenous Peoples’ lands in violation of these rights;

  • We demand that all states, authorities and Peoples phase out and eliminate nuclear power generation and use, and dedicate themselves to the development and use of intelligent energy services based on sustainable, safe and renewable energy resources.

The Council of Canadians endorses this declaration.

Our formal statement of opposition to nuclear power and uranium mining, approved by our Board of Directors in 2008, states:

“The Council of Canadians rejects nuclear power because it poses an unacceptable risk to people and the environment. It is neither clean, safe, peaceful nor economic. We are opposed to the further expansion of nuclear power in our country. Faced with climate change and diminishing energy resources globally we recognize the need for a just transition away from a fossil fuel and nuclear dependent society while ensuring Canadians access to basic energy needs to sustainable publicly funded and publicly delivered energy alternatives that benefit both workers and their communities. We support renewable non-invasive energy sources (such as solar and wind power) energy efficiency and conservation. Nuclear power also requires uranium the mining of which creates toxic tailings poses water contamination and other environmental risks and health hazards. The Council of Canadians calls for a ban on all uranium exploration and mining strengthening of legislation to ensure that any exploration or mining of other materials does not disturb or uncover uranium deposits and fair just transition programs for all communities and workers involved in the uranium mining industry.”

Just this month, during the visit of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi to Canada, India signed a $350 million five-year agreement with the Saskatoon-based company Cameco to purchase 7.1 million pounds of uranium concentrate that would be mined in northern Saskatchewan. It is meant to fuel India’s 21 nuclear reactors, and the 6 new reactors that will come online by 2017. Non-proliferation analysts are also concerned by this deal, particularly in light of the fact that India test-fired the nuclear capable Agni-III missile, which has a range of over 3,000 kilometres, just hours after signing the agreement with Cameco.

Several Council of Canadians activists – including Saint John chapter activists Leticia Adair and Carol Ring – have already signed the Declaration of the World Uranium Symposium. To add your name to the declaration, please click here.

Further reading
Barlow signs World Future Council statement against nuclear power (July 2013)