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Mining sites: AREVA and Sherpa set up a health watchdog

News brief

GROUP / SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

June 19, 2009

Following on from an initiative put in place in March 2007, the AREVA group, Sherpa and Médecins du Monde have signed a pioneering agreement to set up health watchdogs near mining sites operated by AREVA, and a multi-party health watch group.

The aim is to study the health of workers in AREVA's uranium mines both in France and abroad and the potential impact of mining activities on the health of those living nearby.  If it is found that illness is due to this professional activity, AREVA will bear the costs of the necessary medical care to the value of French social security cover.

Chaired by AREVA's medical director, the multi-party group is made up of ten members, all medical and scientific experts, chosen in equal numbers by the associations and AREVA.  It is open to new members (NGOs and scientific experts).  The multi-party group makes its observations public in an annual report.  Its analyses are based on the work of local health watchdogs currently being opened in countries where AREVA operates mines.  These local institutes will be made up of a board of directors and a medical committee both of which will be tripartite and will be responsible for regional health watch and monitoring employees while they are working and once they have finished working.

Philippe Vivien, Senior Executive Vice President of Human Resources at AREVA, says: By putting in place a health watchdog on a worldwide scale and compensating foreign and French workers for any health problems resulting from work on AREVA's mining sites, this agreement marks an important stage in the necessary dialog between a responsible mining operator and civil society.”

Under the agreement, French and foreign employees will be lent an attentive ear, diagnosed and will receive medical care and reparation if need be. “The tripartite involvement (associations, local authorities, company) which is systematic at each level of the agreement will also provide the signatory NGOs with the resources to ensure that it is properly complied with”, says Mr. Michel Brugière, Médecins du Monde

Sherpa’s Jean-Pierre Getti says: “There is no doubt that this agreement illustrates a new maturity and approach on the part of all those involved.  AREVA's open attitude to dialog bears witness to its willingness to respond to the concerns of citizens who are increasingly well informed and advisedBy agreeing to talk with AREVA, civil society is showing how an agreement can have a constructive impact on local populations."

Contact presse

  • AREVA press office:
    Patricia Marie / Julien Duperray / Fleur Floquet-Daubigeon / Pauline Briand
    Tel.: +33 1 34 96 12 15 - Fax: +33 1 34 96 16 54
    email: press@areva.com