Thursday, November 22, 2007

Congolese river used for radioactive dumping no danger


Whew! That was a close one. Thank God they dodged the bullet.
A river in southeastern Congo where authorities believe as much as 19 tonnes of radioactive minerals were dumped earlier this month is no longer a danger to local people, officials said on Tuesday.

Authorities had seized the minerals, mainly copper and cobalt ore, in the city of Likasi in Congo's mineral-rich Katanga province in October after tests revealed radiation levels nearly 50 times the limit for mineral exports.

Katanga's environment minister ordered their disposal at a nearby abandoned uranium mine but the load never made it and the government says at least some of the ore was dropped from a bridge into the Mura river, just 10 km (6 miles) outside Likasi.

"Practically all of the product has now been removed (from the river). Even at the dumping site, when we removed the sacks, we tested and there was nothing," Joseph Monga Herion, technical advisor to the provincial infrastructure minister, told Reuters.

"There is no longer any risk."

Anything fishy in this story? Just asking.

So why this?

Via Reuters.

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