INTERNATIONAL PHYSICIANS FOR THE PREVENTION OF NUCLEAR WAR
19th World Congress – Basel, Switzerland
March 25‐30, 20010
Adopted on August 29, 2010
Title of Resolution: Global call to action for a ban on uranium mining
Submitted By: Helmut Lohrer
Affiliates: IPPNW Germany and PSR/IPPNW Switzerland
Date Submitted: August 18, 2010
BE IT RESOLVED THAT:
Uranium ore mining and the production of uranium oxide (yellowcake) are irresponsible and represent
a grave threat to health and to the environment. Both processes involve an elementary violation of
human rights and their use lead to an incalculable risk for world peace and an obstacle to nuclear
The International Council of IPPNW therefore resolves that:
IPPNW call for appropriate measures to ban uranium mining worldwide.
Reasons for Above:
Uranium mining contaminates groundwater and radioactivity remains in the heaps, tailings and
evaporation ponds. Uranium and its radioactive decay elements are highly toxic. They attack inner
organs and the respiratory system. Scientific studies have shown that the following diseases are caused
by exposition to radon gas, uranium and uranium’s decay elements: Bronchial and lung cancer; cancer of
the bone marrow, stomach, liver, intestine, gall bladder, kidneys and skin, leukemia, other blood
diseases, psychological disorders and birth defects.
Approximately three‐quarters of the world’s uranium is mined on territory belonging to indigenous
peoples. The inhabitants of affected regions are (for the most part) vulnerable to exposure from
radioactive substances that threaten them with short‐ and long‐term health risks and damaging genetic
As well as the direct health effects from contamination of the water, the immense water consumption in
mining regions is environmentally and economically damaging – and in turn detrimental for human
health. The extraction of water leads to a reduction of the groundwater table and thereby to
desertification; plants and animals die, the traditional subsistence of the inhabitants is eliminated, the
existence of whole cultures are threatened.
This is not all. Ending uranium mining ‐ also because of its relevance to the processing of uranium, its
military use, the production of nuclear energy and the unresolved problem of how to permanently
dispose of nuclear waste ‐ would represent a provision of preventive health care, as well as a policy of
peace and reason.
Banning uranium mining would reduce the risk of proliferation. It would make uranium resources more scarce,
thus accelerating the abandonment of the civil use of nuclear energy. The pressure on political decision‐makers
to find safe methods of permanently disposing of nuclear waste would increase. Banning uranium mining would
thus promote the phasing‐out of the irresponsible practice of using nuclear energy and increase pressure
globally to force a change‐over to renewable energies.
Describe how this resolution might be implemented and by whom:
In order to achieve the goal of an international ban, IPPNW will strengthen its public education on this issue and
exert influence on both national and international political decision‐makers.
Estimate for amount of staff time and resources required to implement this resolution:
Minimal staff time will be required, mainly for coordination of activities and communication between
Estimated expenses and sources of funding:
Minimal cost for shipment of information material.
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