posted on Mar, 25 2004 @ 10:05 AM
The Shinkolobwe uranium mine in Congo is closed, but a BBC reporter found 6,000 miners working there. Not only are the workers involved in the mining
in danger, but the rest of the world is in danger from the uranium found there. Uranium from this very mine was used to make the atomic bombs dropped
on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in WWII. The IAEA, which is the UN's nuclear watchdog, is worried about the distribution of the uranium from the mine.
Authorities in DR Congo say they need help
from the international community to control access to a mine which has produced uranium for nuclear bombs.
The government says it shut down the mine, but the BBC's Arnaud Zajtman found 6,000 illegal miners at work. They are extracting large amounts of
material containing cobalt, copper, platinum and uranium, says our correspondent.
The uranium is allegedly sold to nearby furnaces operated mainly by private businessmen from China and India. It is then reportedly illegally exported
to the world market via neighboring Zambia.
The Congo government claims that they are unaware of the mine's status. Congo's government has been made weak by years of war, and the mine is over
1,200 miles from the capital. Meanwhile, a uranium free-for-all is taking place under their nose. Even if the uranium is not refined, it could be used
to create a dirty bomb that would disperse radioactive material throughout a city.