Prevent nuclear waste at its origin: uranium mining

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Invitation to an international uranium conference 4 Feb 12

On 11 March 2011 Fukushima became the new symbol of the uncontrollability of nuclear installations. In Germany powerful protests have achieved the closure of several nuclear power stations, in some countries nuclear programmes are being cut back, but in several others nuclear energy production is still being expanded. And in Niger, Congo, Namibia, Canada, Australia, Kazakhstan and elsewhere uranium continues to be mined unscrupulously and almost unnoticed.



It starts with uranium!


At an international uranium conference on 4 February 2012 in Münster, central-northwest Germany, we want to share how the international uranium industry is placed a year on from Fukushima. Uranium mines and uranium factories are operating in many countries. Uranium is the indispensable source material for producing fuel for nuclear power stations. One central uranium processing enterprise operating worldwide is the transnational Urenco, which operates uranium enrichment plants in Gronau (Germany), Almelo (Netherlands), Capenhurst (UK) and Eunice (USA), which give it almost 30% of the world market. Just the Gronau plant alone has a 10% share of the world market.

Urenco’s centrifuge process is especially controversial because it can be used to make nuclear weapons. Depleted uranium is used for armor-breaking ammunition. Uranium enrichment always includes a highly dangerous military component.

But changes are happening in the market, nuclear enterprises are getting into difficulties. The major German power companies, EON and RWE and the British government want to sell their shares in Urenco. The French corporation AREVA has uranium enrichment overcapacities, while Urenco is expanding massively and new uranium enrichment plants are being built in the USA. New uranium deposits are being prospected worldwide.

Uranium enrichment factories radiate and produce nuclear waste. Just recently construction began of an “interim” storage in Gronau for some 60,000 tonnes of uranium oxide. Where the Gronau uranium waste will end up is totally up in the air. Until 2009 it was sent to Russia, but now the German government wants it put into a salt dome at Gorleben, a village in northwest Germany.   


Close uranium enrichment factories, stop uranium transports!


To operate the uranium factories, there have to be regular uranium transports. We want to increase the focus on them, cooperate internationally and grow the resistance. After years of protest, the exportation of depleted uranium waste from Gronau to Russia was ended at the end of 2009; other uranium transports are also attackable.  Known, for example, are transports from Russia to the fuel element factory at Lingen, northwest Germany, between the uranium enrichment factories Gronau and Pierrelatte (France) and many movements through German ports.


Network and expand the resistance


What dangers do uranium enrichment factories and uranium transports pose? How can resistance be strengthened? How can we achieve a ban on uranium enrichment in Germany and worldwide? How can we improve the international information networks against Urenco, Areva and (Russia’s) Rosatom? How can the resistance to uranium transports be strengthened...? We want to collect information about radiating uranium factories, uranium weapons and uranium mining, ask questions – find answers. We want to make clear that resistance has to begin at the start of the atomic fuel cycle: uranium mining, processing and transporting.  

We invite all to the conference who together with us would put a stop to the uranium and nuclear industries: anti-nuclear energy groups, environment groups, socially engaged groups, nuclear opponents in trade unions and parties, peace and one world groups, autonomous groups, doctors, students and passionate individuals.  


Immediate closure of all uranium factories!

Stop all uranium transports and uranium machinations worldwide!

The uranium must stay in the ground – prevent nuclear waste at the source!



Organisers of the uranium conference (as of 7 Nov. 2011):

Aktionsbündnis Münsterland gegen Atomanlagen email

SofA (Sofortiger Atomausstieg) Münster (as above)

AKU (Arbeitskreis Umwelt) Gronau email mail [at]

BBU (Bundesverband Bürgerinitiativen Umweltschutz)  

AStA der Uni Münster email asta.buero[at]  

AStA der FH Münster email  

BI Lüchow-Dannenberg email



When: Saturday, 4 February 2012, 10 am – 6 pm

Where: Institut für Politikwissenschaften, Scharnhorststr. 100, 48151 Münster