The demand for uranium, the fuel for nuclear power plants and nuclear bombs, creates an apparent need for more mining operations. For this reason and because of insufficient local regulation, uranium-mining companies are increasingly focusing on African countries.
However, besides short-term socio-economic benefits, the local populations are not usually informed about the possible long-term consequences of uranium mining on their health and environment, most of which are only poorly investigated.
On the other hand, some nations are starting to phase out the nuclear option and there is increasing pressure by the people of the world for a complete abolition of nuclear weapons. This has already led to a lower world market price for uranium, thus strengthening the case against new mining operations.
As socially committed medical doctors, we feel an obligation to provide concerned citizens, NGOs and political decision makers with comprehensive information about uranium and its health, environmental, and socio-economic impacts.
A conference of IPPNW - International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War - in cooperation with LHRC (Legal and Human Rights Center) Tanzania and NaCUM (National Coalition on Uranium Mining) Tanzania and uranium-network.org, Germany