Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Letter: Consider the Sources

by Letter to the editor

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Regarding the letter "Nuclear engineering graphic bombs," (CT, Sept. 22) by alumni Eric Danner and J. Carrington Dillon, the Collegiate Times staff and your readers should know what motivated the authors to criticize that ingenious and appropriate graphic.

Danner and Dillon are employed by AREVA, a multi-billion-dollar, multinational mega-corporation primarily owned by the French government. According to its corporate Web site, AREVA, with its uranium mines and uranium processing plants, is "ranked first in the global nuclear power industry." Danner and Dillon's AREVA job descriptions also include creating and managing Clean Energy Insight (, a propaganda tool for the nuclear industry.

And, of course, Danner and Dillon are supporters of the planned uranium mine in Pittsylvania County, which would be the first of many in eastern Virginia, bringing devastation to the environment and human communities throughout the region and beyond. And AREVA and Virginia Tech stand to make millions off the deal.

So, what kind of corporate footprint does AREVA have on the environment and human communities where it operates? According to Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), the humanitarian news and analysis service of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, in Niger, mining operations owned and operated by AREVA in partnership with the Nigerian government have contaminated the air, soil and water, resulting in sickness and death for local residents and depleting regional groundwater supplies.

And the Paris-based Commission for Independent Research and Information on Radioactivity, which specializes in the analysis of radioactivity in the environment, found "serious lapses" in and near AREVA mining sites in Niger. In 2005, CRIIRAD environmental studies found water radiation levels in mining communities up to 110 times higher than the World Health Organization safe drinking water standards for industrial areas. You can read about AREVA's mining impacts in Niger at

Uranium mining corporations profit from environmental devastation and human suffering wherever they operate. Eric Danner and J. Carrington Dillon are a couple of their minions. Consider the source.

Shireen Pansoms
Va. community organizer
Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
Christiansburg, Va.

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