Uranium: A Poisoned Legacy

(Uranium, l'héritage empoisonné)
France | 52 min | Documentary
Director: Dominique Hennequin | Producer: Nomades TV
Language: French and English

Synopsis: A shocking investigation into uranium mining in Africa. We visit three areas affected by the uranium industry; Mounana where activity has now ceased, Arlit, where the mines have been active for 40 years, and Imouraren, a future site. French energy giant Areva pulled out of Mounana, Gabon, in 1999. The uranium mine, Comuf, was closed down and covered over. In fact, at a glance, it’s almost as if the mine never existed. However, Mounana suffers from extremely dangerous levels of radioactive pollution. The soil and the rivers are toxic; even the houses have a Geiger count as much as 8 times the safe limit. They were built using radioactive material.

In Arlit, North Niger, we encounter similar problems, including an abnormally high incidence of lung cancer. Now that Areva has left, the former miners are left to pay for their own health care. In spite of the horrific damage to local populations at previous sites, another mine is being constructed, in Imouraren. The result of a colossal deal between the governments of France and Niger, this will be their biggest open mine yet. Areva claims that the new mine will not poison the land, but local people are sceptical.

Film website: http://www.javafilms.fr/spip.php?article311