Archive for January 28th, 2013

28/01/2013

Danish Parliament Clears Way for Uranium Mining in Greenland

Human Wrongs Watch

By EurActiv*, 29 January 2013 – A majority in the Danish parliament signalled their readiness to allow extraction and exports of uranium from Greenland, marking a historical shift in Danish foreign policy after 30 years of opposition to nuclear power.

Source: EurActiv

Source: EurActiv

A majority in the Danish parliament is prepared for the first time to repeal Denmark’s so-called zero-tolerance policy on the radioactive metal, according to media reports.

The world’s fifth largest uranium deposit, Kvanefjeld, is situated in the south of Greenland and if the Danish self-ruled territory makes a formal request to exploit it, Denmark could become one of the biggest exporters of the radioactive metal.

Uranium is created as a biproduct when extracting many valuable and strategically important metals used in for example mobile phones. Uranium is also used for nuclear power and atomic bombs.

Because of the security political significance, Greenland will have to ask Denmark for permission before the zero-tolerance policy can be repealed.

“We have to approach this positively. We would be caught in a very weird Danish role if we block Greenland’s wish,” foreign policy spokesperson Rasmus Helveg Petersen from the Social Liberals, one of the parties constituting the Danish government, told the newspaper Politiken.

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