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Origin of stolen uranium ore products identified

Press release

BG MINES / CORPORATE

September 01, 2011

Bureau VERITAS Laboratory in Namibia has confirmed that the content of the stolen uranium ore, found in a home in Swakopmund on August 25th 2011 originates from AREVA’s Trekkopje Mine.

“The incident has been managed very well, thanks to the excellent cooperation from all parties, including the Namibia Police, the Uranium Institute and AREVA Resources Namibia. Safety and protection of our communities should remain a priority and we are pleased to note that all parties handled the situation with seriousness,” according to Mr Axel Tibinyane, Director of the National Radiation Protection Authority.

Four suspects were arrested and appeared in court after radio-active material was found in their possession. Sodium di-uranate (SDU), a uranium concentrate was discovered in four 50 litre containers, weighing about 324 kg in total. These drums contain uranium with a low radioactivity level.

AREVA initiated the Mini Pilot Plant in 2008 and the Midi Industrial Prototype in 2009. Both of these plants produce SDU that has no direct industrial use and is not a commercially traded commodity.

“We are continuously strengthening our operational procedures as we evolve from a small pilot plant operation towards a mature industrial site. These procedures must ensure that all uranium extracted remains on site, as we are not yet a commercial operation. We are currently reviewing the incident to determine if the current operational procedures need to be adapted and what further checks can be implemented to avoid any theft of material from site,” according to Sugnet Smit, Communication Specialist.

 

AREVA Resources’ provisions relating to security of radioactive material are described in the Radiation Management Plan (RMP), which was submitted to the NRPA in April 2011 and approved accordingly. In the context of the current incident Trekkopje will work closely with the NRPA to validate the current security provisions and where appropriate to ensure that these security measures are strengthened to prevent any future unauthorised removal of any hazardous material from the plant.  

AREVA supplies solutions for power generation with less carbon. Its expertise and unwavering insistence on safety, security, transparency and ethics are setting the standard, and its responsible development is anchored in a process of continuous improvement.

Ranked first in the global nuclear power industry, AREVA’s unique integrated offering to utilities covers every stage of the fuel cycle, nuclear reactor design and construction, and related services. The group is also expanding in renewable energies – wind, solar, bioenergies, hydrogen and storage – to be one of the top three in this sector worldwide in 2012.

With these two major offers, AREVA’s 48,000 employees are helping to supply ever safer, cleaner and more economical energy to the greatest number of people.

 

More About
AREVA in Namibia has engaged into smart partnerships with the following communities in which they operate:

Spitzkoppe Community

  • Supply of water to the village and assistance with a water management system
  • Building of toilets in the village
  • Supply of shoes, furniture and literature to the local Katora Primary School
  • Sponsoring and coordination of community based meetings
  • Sponsoring and coordination of annual The Rock: Spitzkoppe Community Run and Mountain Bike Challenge

 

Arandis Community

  • Supply of playground equipment to Kindergarten
  • Supply of educational literature and sporting equipment to several local schools
  • Involved in cleaning campaigns
  • Donating furniture, utensils, electric equipment, bedding, mattresses and electronic devices to the Erongo
    Development Foundation: to the value of N$350,000.00 according to the needs of registered institutions.  

 

Swakopmund Community

  • Supply of a classroom to the DRC School
  • Supply of a library/Resource Centre to the Mondesa Youth Opportunities 
  • Supply sport equipment for the development of soccer, netball and rugby
  • Supply of a safety fence to the House of Safety
  • Coordinate and implementation of the Uranium Institute Information Centre to educate the general public on uranium
  • Supporting NACOMA with the protection of the Damara-Tern breading grounds
  • With the donation of water pipes assisting NamWater with the supply of water to Walvis Bay/Langstrand during the time of the well publicised water crisis.
  • Supply of a 20-seater bus to CHAIN

 

Issued by:
Communication Department
Sugnét Smit
T : +264 (0)64 415720
F : +264 (0)64 415721
sugnet.smit@areva.com