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(last updated 14 Dec 2023)



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Workers at several uranium mines in India on strike

Over 4000 workers of Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) Monday (June 10) went on an indefinite strike in support of their demand for wage revision and other benefits pending for the last five years.
Production came to a halt in all the seven mines of UCIL as the workers unanimously decided to take the warpath. The agitation started in the first half of the day at Turamdih Uranium Project where the workers went 600 metres down the mine to sit at dharna [sit in] and boycott work. Soon, the agitation spread to other UCIL mines in Narwa Pahar and Jadugora. (Avenue Mail June 11, 2019)

India plans ten-fold increase of uranium production within next 15 years

The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) would achieve a ten-fold rise in uranium production in three phases by 2031-32, the government today informed the Lok Sabha. In a written response to a question in the Lower House, Jitendra Singh, the Union minister of state in the Prime Minister's Office that directly looks after the DAE, sought to assuage concerns by saying there is no shortage of nuclear fuel for atomic plants in the country. (Business Standard Mar. 7, 2018)

India government, once again, pretends "public interest" for not disclosing annual uranium production figures

The Centre today refused to disclose the total production of nuclear fuel uranium in the country, stating it was "not in public interest".
In a written response in Rajya Sabha [upper house of the Parliament of India], Jitendra Singh, Minister of State in the Prime Ministers Office (PMO) said, "Pursuant to the civil nuclear cooperation with various countries, around 7,810 metric tonnes (MT) of natural uranium and 100 MT of enriched uranium have been imported from France, Russia, Kazakhstan and Canada since 2009." The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) reports directly to the PMO. "It is not in public interest to disclose the production of uranium in the country," Singh said.
"About 860 MT of uranium is required annually to meet the operational requirements of the existing Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs). Sixteen of these reactors have 220 MW capacity and two have 540 MW of capacity. Similarly, around 16 MT of enriched uranium is required for two Boiling Water Reactors," he stated.
The minister added that the DAE has plans to ramp up nuclear power generation in the country. "It (DAE) has aimed to increase uranium production ten-fold by 2031-32," he said. (PTI Apr. 6, 2017)

India's uranium mine workers go on indefinite strike

Workers of state-run Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL) have gone on an indefinite strike from today demanding implementation of the wage revision agreement signed between the management and labour unions in March.
Of the four recognised labour unions, Singhbhum Uranium Mazdoor Union, Uranium Kamgaar Union (UKU) and Jadugora Labour Union have resorted to indefinite strike in all the units of UCIL including Turamdih, Narwapahar and Jadugora located in and around East Singhbhum and {Seraikela-Kharswan} districts, Rajaram Singh, General Secretary, UKU said. (Times of India Sep. 27, 2016)

An indefinite strike called by the labour unions of public sector Uranium Corporation of India (UCIL) here has been called off on the second day today after the management agreed to meet one of their demand on payment of annual bonus. (Business Standard Sep. 28, 2016)

India's uranium production declined by 10-15% after mining at Jaduguda uranium mine stopped following ministry order

> View here

India government cites "public interest" for not divulging annual uranium production figures

In response to a question on average annual production from uranium mines and its quality, Minister of State for Department of Atomic Energy Jitendra Singh informed the Lok Sabha [lower house of the Parliament of India] that, "It is not in the public interest to disclose the quantity of production of uranium." (PTI Nov. 26, 2014)

Uranium Corporation of India wins 'corporate social responsibility & sustainability' and 'most eco-friendly' Public Sector Undertaking awards (!)

Uranium Corporation of India won two awards-best in 'corporate social responsibility & sustainability' and 'most eco-friendly' in the 'other Public Sector Undertakings' category. The India Today Group Public Sector Undertakings Awards "honour enterprises that have scripted success against many odds". (India Today Aug. 28, 2014)

Indian minister recommends afforestation around uranium mines to abate environmental degradation

Union Minister of State for Forest and Environment Jairam Ramesh today laid emphasis on massive tree plantation around mines in the country to fight the dangers of environmental degradation in such areas and sought a proposal in this regard from scientists in the field. Ramesh said serious measures need to be taken for environment protection around mines specially those of uranium, iron ore and limestone. Expressing concern over the dangers of carbon emission, Ramesh said the process of afforestation should be implemented at a faster pace to deal with the situation. (Indopia/PTI June 2, 2009)

Yellow Cake truck overturns in Andhra Pradesh

A trailer transporting a container with 62 drums of radioactive yellow cake from Jaduguda in Jharkhand to the Nuclear Fuel Complex at Hyderabad overturned at Narsannapeta in Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh on the morning of July 25, 2007. Police officials at Narsannapeta said the trailer overturned and fell into the fields when it swerved to avoid a bus overtaking it on the wrong side.
According to S.K. Malhotra, Head, Environment and Public Awareness Division, Department of Atomic Energy, there was no spillage. DAE officials found no change in the background radiation-levels, Mr. Malhotra said. Jawans of the Central Industrial Security Force were escorting the trailer. (The Hindu July 26, 2007)

Panel to probe alleged illegal uranium mining in Jharkhand

A two-member enquiry committee has been set up by the Jharkhand Government on March 23, 2005, to probe the alleged illegal mining of uranium in the State. (The Hindu March 24, 2005)


Andhra Pradesh (India)


Tummalapalle (YSR district, Andhra Pradesh, India)

(also spelled Tummalapalli, Thummalapalle, Thummalapalli; formerly called Pulivendula)

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Studies find no environmental and health impacts of tailings deposits at Tummalapalle uranium mine: The Centre on Wednesday (Dec. 13) said studies by various institutes, including IIT [Indian Institute of Technology] Madras, have revealed that the tailing pond of the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) in Tummalapalle of Kadapa district is not contributing to the groundwater contamination in the region.
The National Research Centre for Banana [NRCB] also conducted studies on the farmers' concerns of low crop yield or stunted growth of plants in the surrounding villages, and found that the UCIL operations in Tummalapalle have not contaminated agriculture lands in the area, the Centre informed.
Union Minister of State for Public Grievances Jitendra Singh said to address the concerns of the people of surrounding villages and NGOs against the UCIL operations in Tummalapalle, different scientific studies have been conducted in and around it. He replied to a question raised by TDP MP K Ram Mohan Naidu in the Lok Sabha on field surveys conducted to look into the problems faced by the people due to Uranium mining. IIT Madras conducted hydrological investigations to establish the source of groundwater contamination in the villages surrounding the UCIL tailing pond.
"The report concluded that there is no discernible dissolved uranium plume emanating from the tailing pond. However, the presence of a high concentration of uranium in the groundwater in the upstream areas is solely due to natural uranium deposits in the area, which has degraded the water quality," the report said, and added that the tailing pond is not the probable cause of groundwater contamination in nearby wells.
SVIMS [Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences] , Tirupati which looked into the people's health concerns, concluded that they are not attributable to the UCIL operations.
The Isotope and Radiation Application Division (IRAD) of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) conducted an isotope hydrological study to identify the source of uranium contamination in the groundwater. "The report concluded that the presence of high uranium observed in some wells are geogenic in nature and not derived from the tailing pond or decant pond."
Mecon conducted hydrogeological investigations in the tailing pond area to study the concern of groundwater contamination. "It is well established that the UCIL operations in Tummalapalle have not caused any health issues, groundwater/agriculture land contamination in and around the area," the Centre stated. (New Indian Express Dec. 14, 2023)

State promises to develop basic infrastructure in villages next to Tummalapalli uranium mine: [Andhra Pradesh] Chief Secretary KS Jawahar Reddy has said steps will be taken to develop basic infrastructure in the seven villages adjacent to the uranium plant at Tummalapalli in Vemulapalli mandal of Kadapa district, besides extending aid to the farmers who gave their lands for it.
Apart from discussing provision of employment to the family members of farmers, who gave lands for the plant, the Chief Secretary also took stock of the basic infrastructure like drinking water, education, health, roads and plantation in the seven villages. (New Indian Express Dec. 1, 2023)

Tummalapalle uranium mine not to be blamed for groundwater contamination, report finds: IIT-Madras [Indian Institute of Technology] in a recent report gave a clean chit to the Uranium Corporation of India Limited, saying UCIL was not responsible for uranium contamination in Andhra Pradesh's Kadapa.
Indiaís biggest uranium mine, run by UCIL, is in Tummalapalle of Kadapa district. Retired scientists and human rights activists, however, criticised IITM's report. In its report, IITM said that there was no evidence of groundwater contamination from the tailing pond. Experts of department of civil engineering, IITM, said: "To establish this beyond doubt, we need to instal proper monitoring wells upstream and downstream of the tailing pond."
In the report (a copy of which is available with TOI), IITM said: "There is no noticeable plume of uranium emanating from the tailing pond from water quality measurements, suggesting that the dam is not likely to be causing any groundwater contamination in the adjoining villages." (Times of India Apr. 5, 2023)

After lifting of stay, hearing on expansion of Tummalapalle uranium mine further delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic: The EIA/EMP studies for the expansion of the capacities of the Tummalapalle mine and mill in Andhra Pradesh from 3,000 tonnes per day to 4,500 tonnes per day have been conducted and submitted to the Andhra Pradesh State Pollution Control Board (APPCB).
The APPCB notified the environmental public hearing on January 6, 2021. Meanwhile, a local NGO filed a Writ Petition (PIL) No. 323/2020 on 29.12.2020 in the Hon'ble High Court of Andhra Pradesh challenging the expansion activity of UCIL. Based on the writ petition, the Hon'ble High Court of Andhra Pradesh issued a Stay Order on December 31, 2020.
In response to this, on January 4, 2021, UCIL filed a counter-affidavit to vacate the stay order. On February 16, 2021, the Hon'ble High Court issued an order vacating the stay and permitting the conduct of a public hearing. UCIL had requested the APPPCB to conduct the public hearing at the earliest.
However, in response to UCIL's request letter dated May 17, 2021, APPCB, vide its letter No.K-216/PCB/RO/KDP/2021-48 dated May 19, 2021, informed that a public hearing cannot be conducted due to restrictions on the movement of people due to the COVID-19 pandemic. UCIL is pursuing the matter with the state government. (UCIL Annual Report 2021-22)

Groundwater contamination near Tummalapalle uranium mine not due to mining, UCIL claims: Uranium Corporation of India, in its counter affidavit in the National Green Tribunal, said it is not responsible for higher uranium levels in groundwater in Kadapa. UCIL operates Uranium mining plant at Thummalapalle in Kadapa district in Andhra Pradesh.
UCIL blamed groundwater over exploitation and natural uranium ore as the cause for higher uranium levels. UCIL general manager M S Rao said, "The demand for groundwater for agriculture -- mainly for water-intensive banana cultivation -- exceeds the groundwater recharge in most years, which leads to a decline in the groundwater table in the area. Due to this, the farmers drill deeper borewells and draw water from the lower horizons. So, there is an elevated concentration of various salts in groundwater in some places."
Rao said, "An extensive test of groundwater samples collected by BARC [Bhabha Atomic Research Centre] scientists from agricultural borewells in up to a 5km radius corroborated this trend. It found that most of these borewells with higher concentration of salts, including uranium, are located at places far off from the tailings pond (used in mining processes), having no relationship with the tailings pond."
He reiterated that BARC and the IIT [Indian Institute of Technology] Madras studies have found high groundwater uranium concentrations in upstream areas far away from the tailings pond. (Times of India Sep. 6, 2022)

Human Rights Forum seeks justice for Tummalapalle uranium mine oustees: The Human Rights Forum (HRF) of AP [Andhra Pradesh] and TS [Telangana State] has sought justice to the villagers affected by the uranium mining and processing project of the UCIL at Tummalapalle in Kadapa district.
The forum approached the National Green Tribunal's [NGT] principal bench in New Delhi on Monday (Aug. 22) with a petition against UCIL, saying it was causing large-scale pollution, harming the people and milch animals in surrounding villages and agriculture lands were kept abandoned.
"UCIL is the culprit for groundwater contamination and legally liable for the environmental crime of poisoning the localities and agriculture fields as the people have lost their goats and sheep, and farmers had to abandon farming their land due to contaminated groundwater along with the health issues thereof," the forum said based on their study in the affected villages.
Even the compensation for the land taken was not paid. For instance, the tailings transfer pipe passing through a farmer's land had breached, creating toxic puddles of hazardous waste. Several cattle entered these puddles, drank that liquid by mistaking it for water and were severely hurt with alkali burns. Some of the cattle died, it was noted.
It was also pointed out that an activist, the ate Jayasree, had fought in favour of the farmers and approached the AP high court for justice.
The forum said the AP Pollution Control Board, after several complaints and protests by the affected people, sponsored a groundwater study to determine the cause of contamination. It spent 5.1 million Rupees [US$ 64,000] for this purpose on IIT [Indian Institute of Technology], Madras. But the report contents were not disclosed. The forum requested the NGT to direct the APPCB to submit a copy and also upload it on the APPCB website. (Deccan Herald Aug. 23, 2022)

Heavy rain causes breach of Tummalapalle uranium tailings pond: The Human Rights Forum (HRF) has expressed concern over the alleged breach of the embankment and consequent overflow of contents of a tailings pond of the Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL) mine at Thummalapalli in Vemula mandal of Kadapa district.
The embankment of the tailings pond, located close to KK Kottala village and the Erravanka rivulet, gave way due to incessant rain in the area on the intervening night of September 2-3. Residents of Mabbuchintapalli, Thummalapalle, Bhoomaiahgaripalle, Rachakuntapalle and KK Kottala fear contamination in the area.
"This is not the first time such an incident has occurred in the tailing pond. On June 9 this year, a short spell of intense rain caused overflow from the tailings pond and the spewing of radioactive waste and toxic slurry in the adjoining area. Nearby farmlands were inundated to a depth of nearly 6 feet with farmers suffering loss of banana and other crops. The UCIL claimed then that it did not envisage such a heavy rainfall," HRF AP&TS Coordination Committee members VS Krishna and A Chandrasekhar said.
Meanwhile, the farmers affected with the leakage held a roundtable on the issue at KK Kottala village and demanded compensation. They urged the management to take steps to ensure that such incidents do not recur. (New Indian Express Sep. 5, 2021)

Heavy rain allegedly causes overflow of Tummalapalle uranium tailings pond into adjacent fields: Scientists and environmentalists expressed concern over water flowing from the Uranium Corporaion of India Limited (UCIL) tail pond in Tummalapalli in Kadapa district, here on Monday (June 7).
Speaking at a webinar, former Energy Secretary E.A.S. Sarma said that due to rains in Kadapa water is overflowing from the tail pond of the UCIL into the adjoining agricultural fields in Tummalapalli and this water contains hazardous radioactive matter and will cause irreparable damage to the land, groundwater, water bodies and the existing banana and other plantations.
Akula Lokesh, an affected farmer, said his banana field was in 6-foot deep uranium contaminated water from the tail pond. The total area inundated is around 30 acres at present, and it may extend depending on the rains, he said. (The Hindu June 8, 2021)

"[...] no breach of the embankment and overflow of tailings occurred," the AERB [Atomic Energy Regulatory Board] explained. "[...] On June 03, 2021, heavy torrential rain occurred at Tummalapalle and it continued up to night of June 05, 2021. As a preventive measure, the UCIL stopped its plant operation and safe levels were maintained in the tailings pond and in the decant water pond," it said. However, AERB informed that rain water had flown through the sluice gate of the check dam into the adjacent low-lying area. "The run-off water was analysed for chemical and radiological parameters and found to be in the range of †6 - 8 ppb which is well below the prescribed limits," it said, adding the HRF [Human Rights Forum] allegation that the rain caused overflow from the pond and the spewing of radioactive waste and toxic slurry in the adjoining area is incorrect. (New Indian Express Sep. 12, 2021)

UCIL considers development of third mine at Tummalapalle, while hearings on second mine still postponed: "With huge reserves in the Thummalapalle, the focus in on taking up the second mine for which public hearing outcome is awaited. Once we secure this, we will go ahead with the mine. We are also working on to secure permissions for a third mine at Kannampally," MS Rao, General Manager, Engineering Services, AP, Uranium Corporation, said.
"The public hearing was to take place in January but due to a stay it was postponed. We expect to take up the hearing again soon after securing various clearances," he said. (The Hindu Mar. 15, 2021)

Major fire at Tummalapalle uranium mill: A major fire broke out at Tummalapalli Uranium Plant in Kadapa late on Friday (Jan. 15). According to preliminary reports, about 20 workers were said to be working on the site and there have been no causalities in the mishap. It is said that only a couple of them suffered minor injuries. According to information available, welding works were on and the sparkles that came out of welding fell in oil stored there and the fire in no time spread to the entire plant area.
The fire equipment available there could not bring the situation under control. Fire Tenders from Kadapa were rushed to the site and after about nearly two hours the fire brigade succeeded in bringing the fire under control. (Hans India Jan. 15, 2021)

Excessive uranium concentrations found in agricultural borewells near Tummalapalle uranium mine, some of which could be attributable to tailings dam: A study by a state-owned metallurgical and engineering consultant has found a spike in uranium, sodium and other salts of uranium ore body in the agriculture {borewells} of villages in Kadapa basin of Andhra Pradesh [...].
The villages where UCIL plans to expand uranium mining include Tummalapalle, Meedipentla, Velpula, Mabbuchintalapalle, Bhumaiahgaripalle, Rachakuntapalle and Kottala that fall in the constituency represented by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.
The latest study by MECON observed that nearly half of the agriculture bore wells in these villages had high uranium concentration after intersecting the uranium ore body. Agriculture bore wells in the region have substantially increased since 2010. The state groundwater department confirms overexploitation of groundwater for drinking and agriculture purposes in the region owing to low rainfall of 535 mm a year.
"Orebody modelling reveals that out of 71 agriculture bore wells, 29 bore wells have intersected the orebody. All these 29 bore wells are showing uranium concentration, as they have intersected the ore body," said MECON report that ET saw. The report found that the remaining 42 bore wells, which are not intersecting ore bodies, were showing uranium concentration well within the permissible limits.
The MECON report found nine bore wells located at Mabbuchintalapalle village showed uranium concentrations in the range of 87 - 7,500 micrograms per litre. "It is observed that these bore wells are located at proximity to the dyke passing across the village. The reason for higher concentration of the non-intersecting agriculture bore wells could be attributable to existence of this post-mineralized dyke." The permissible limit of uranium is 60 micrograms per litre. The very wide range of 87 to 7,500 micrograms of uranium per litre is attributed to the varying depth of borewells in the area and the corresponding extent they intersected the uranium orebody. (Economic Times Dec. 23, 2020)

Farmers affected from proposed 50% expansion of Tummalapalle uranium mine on strike for compensation: Demanding immediate employment and rehabilitation, residents of five villages in Vemula mandal, of Kadapa district -- Velpula, Mabbuchintalapalli, Rachakuntlapalle, Bhumiya Garipalli and KK Kotala -- which will be affected by Uranium Corporation of India's (UCIL) expansion, have gone on an indefinite strike. They also threatened to disrupt the public hearing regarding the plant's expansion, which is scheduled to take place in January. All stakeholders are set to participate in it. The protestors, under the banner of "Uranium Affected Villages" sat in protest on Thursday (Dec. 17). They have planned for a sustained campaign in which each day, the affected villages on a rotational basis will hold a protest in their respective villages.
Opposing the plant's expansion, the protestors have put a charter of eight demands including immediate employment, rehabilitation, compensation. They alleged that UCIL did not honour their contract of providing employment, fair compensation and rehabilitation, which it had assured them in 2006.
The protestors demanded that besides UCIL, other companies which are part of the Uranium mining project should provide employment to the farmers who lost their lands. They also demanded UCIL buy lands of other farmers in the village and provide them compensation. They said that due to lapses in the construction of the tailing pond, the waste from the plant has seeped underground which has not just affected the main crop of bananas, but all others too.
(The News Minute Dec. 19, 2020)

No liner at existing tailings pond of Tummalapalle uranium mine: A former chief scientist of IICT [Indian Institute of Chemical Technology] has alleged that the draft environmental impact assessment (EIA) of Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) does not mention about the lining of existing tailing pond where it is alleged that seepage of uranium waste is happening. The UCIL, which is planning to expand its uranium mining project at Thummalapalle in Kadapa district, however, said lining of the tailing pond is being taken up.
In a letter written to the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board, scientist K Babu Rao said experts had recommended multi-layer lining of the existing tailing pond. "The UCIL, however, has not lined the pond. Presence of grass, plants and trees within the pond is an ample indication that the surface was not prepared for impoundment of tailings. There is no proposal in the draft EIA report to line the existing pond as per the directions of the APPCB [Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board]," he pointed out.
He said a picture of a borehole in the EIA report is being projected as a monitoring well. "The UCIL had been claiming thickened tailings disposal (TTD) all these years without actually thickening the tailings. How do we believe that they will convert the tailings to a thick cake that is more expensive. It is only an idea taken from a private infrastructure consulting company and no details as to its feasibility are not known," he said. (Times of India Dec. 16, 2020)

State board holds public hearing on proposed 50% expansion of Tummalapalle uranium mine: Due to concerns of the impact on the health of locals as a result of groundwater contamination by existing uranium ore mining in Tummalapalle of Kadapa district, the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) has issued a notice for a public hearing.
Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) is planning to expand uranium mining with Rs 7.2 billion [US$ 97 million] in 973 hectares in Pulivendula constituency of Kadapa. The constituency is represented by Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy. The proposed expansion will take place in Meedipentla, Velpula, Tummalapalle, Mabbuchintalapalle, Bhoomaiagaripalle, Rachakuntapalle and KK Kottala villages in Vemula mandal.
The public hearing for environmental clearance will be conducted on January 6, 2021, at Tummalapalle in Vemula mandal, Kadapa. UCIL has proposed to increase the uranium ore production from 0.9 million to 1.35 million tonnes per annum with the expansion. (Times of India Dec. 7, 2020)
> View: Public Hearings (Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board)
> Download Draft EIS, Sep. 2020: Executive Summary (763kB PDF) · Full Report (82.8MB PDF)

"The public hearing was to take place in January but due to a stay it was postponed. We expect to take up the hearing again soon after securing various clearances," MS Rao, General Manager, Engineering Services, AP, Uranium Corporation, said. (The Hindu Mar. 15, 2021)

Residents demand relocation from area of groundwater contamination at Tummalapalle uranium mill tailings pond: Is rehabilitating [relocating] villagers of the seven affected villages around Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) mine and tailing pond in Kadapa district a solution to the ongoing struggle between UCIL and the surrounding villages? Though some of the locals and public representatives opine that they could be shifted if they are compensated, scientists and activists say that shifting is not a solution.
Increase in uranium and sodium levels in groundwater is making water unfit for drinking and irrigation. Analysis of documents of UCIL, Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) and other agencies revealed that the baseline concentrations in Mabbuchintalapalle hand pump was 1.3 to 7 parts per billion (ppb) [equiv. to micrograms per litre] in 2010, but has now increased to 4,000 ppb from 690 ppb. (Times of India Nov. 20, 2019)

Study commissioned on groundwater contamination at Tummalapalle uranium mill tailings pond: The Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) has endorsed Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) to conduct a study on the tailings pond created by the Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL) at Tummalapalle uranium mine in Kadapa district. The institute is expected to start the field study soon to assess if the tailings pond, which the APPCB said did not follow its guidelines while creation, was the source of reported contamination of ground water in nearby areas. (New Indian Express Nov. 10, 2019)

Residents living near Tummalapalle uranium mine block UCIL vehicles demanding supply of purified drinking water: The villagers of Mabbuchintapalle staged a dharna [non-violent sit-in protest] and obstructed the vehicles of Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) on Thursday (Oct. 10) demanding that the company supply purified drinking water to them.
People in seven villages in Kadapa district and environmentalists have been alleging that Tummalapalle uranium mine is polluting the water bodies in the affected villages. Tummalapalle uranium mine is operated by UCIL, a public sector undertaking. After complaints, the UCIL had agreed to provide water to all seven villages. (New Indian Express Oct. 11, 2019)

State Pollution Control Board issues directions to UCIL on impacts of Tummalapalle uranium mine: The Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) has cracked the whip on Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) following high levels of uranium in groundwater in villages in Kadapa district.
The Board has issued directions to UCIL to conduct radiology impact studies by dermatologists and radiologists due to the release of radionuclide from its plant at Tummalapalle and surrounding villages. UCIL has also been asked to expedite pipeline-laying works from the Chitravati balancing reservoir to seven villages.
APPCB had also constituted a high-level expert committee to study the impact of processed waste slurry in the tailing pond on groundwater quality at the project site and also at Velpula, Medipentla and Kottala, the surrounding villages in the district.
On the safety front, the UCIL has been asked to provide impervious discharge channels or hose pipes to prevent erosion of the abutments and consequent seepage. It has been asked to share historical data of groundwater levels and detailed water quality characteristics from all monitoring boreholes and surrounding villages.
UCIL will also provide historical data on inflow and outflow characteristics of slurry to and from the tailing pond. It has been asked to complete greenbelt development of 360 hectare using local species within two years. UCIL will also have to submit a detailed action plan on plantation drive within the next 15 days. (Times of India Sep. 14, 2019)

Expert committee urges medial care for residents affected from impacts of Tummalapalle uranium mine: The expert committee that visited the plant of Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) at Thummalapalle submitted its report to the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) on Wednesday (Sep. 11).
After visiting the villages located in the vicinity of the plant, the committee had come to the view that the residents were indeed victims as they were suffering from skin-related diseases, and urged the State government to conduct medical camps at the earliest. With complaints of groundwater contamination, the committee also saw a need to set up water treatment plants to provide safe drinking water to the affected villages. The committee, comprising scientists and officials, recommended monthly meetings between the plant's authorities and the villagers to sort out problems that might crop up from time to time. (The Hindu Sep. 11, 2019)

State Pollution Control Board to hold hearing on alleged violations leading to groundwater contamination at Tummalapalle uranium mine: Following complaints from farmers and villagers and the subsequent probe, the A.P. Pollution Control Board (APPCB) has issued a show-cause notice to the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) on alleged violation of norms at its plant at Tummalapalle in Kadapa district. The APPCB task force will be hearing the UCIL and the complaining villagers in Vijayawada on September 5, according to board Chairman B.S.S. Prasad.
In an interaction with The Hindu here, Mr. Prasad said, "Our reports suggest that there is a steep rise in the levels of sodium and other heavy metals in the groundwater at Tummalapalle and its surrounding areas. Besides, the UCIL has not implemented the measures suggested to protect the tailing pond from likely seepage. Top officials from the corporation will be attending the legal hearing." As per the detailed note it prepared, the APPCB wanted the UCIL to line the tailing pond with 250 micron polyethylene layer in order to prevent possible seepage of the effluents. The UCIL, instead, lined the pond with clay material with desired thickness as per the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) guidelines. The UCIL never approached the APPCB, or the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) for amendment over lining of the tailing pond.
The report further stated that the uranium concentration in the groundwater was 4,000 ppb (parts per billion) [equiv. to micrograms per litre] against the AERB permissible limit of 60 ppb. TDS alkalinity, hardness, magnesium, chromium and nickel present in the groundwater samples taken from agricultural land were much higher than the BIS permissible limits. The villages of Mobbuchintalapalli, KK Kotta and Kannampalli were badly affected due to the presence of high alkalinity and uranium concentrations, the report stated.
Following the report, the APPCB issued a show-cause notice to the UCIL under Section 33 (A) of Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Amendment Act, 1988. This apart, the APPCB and the UCIL together are expected to take a view on the demands of the villagers, which include supply of piped safe drinking water to their homes, jobs for locals and consideration of their agricultural land for acquisition by the UCIL for the purpose of expansion etc. (The Hindu Aug. 31, 2019)

Uranium mining polluting groundwater in Andhra Pradesh villages, scientists warn: A group of retired scientists from top research institutions in the country along with environmentalists from AP, Telangana and Odisha have cautioned the AP Pollution Control Board about contamination of groundwater in several villages around the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) in Kadapa.
Scientists found fault with APPCB in a strongly worded letter written to its member secretary and IAS official Vivek Yadav. They said three villages - Mabbuchintalapalli, KK Kotala and Kanumalavaripalli of Vemula Mandal - in Kadapa were the worst hit.
"They use thousands of tonnes of sodium carbonate. They have violated conditions of environmental clearance. The villages around the pond where the chemical sludge is seeping into the groundwater has been affected," said K Babu Rao, a retired senior scientist from the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology. (Times of India Aug. 9, 2019)

Scientific advisers detained on way to meeting of UCIL with residents concerned about environmental impacts of Tummalapalle uranium mine: [...] officials of the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) on Monday (Apr. 9) conducted an 'awareness' meeting with select people of Tummalapalle and nearby villages. The session was, however, marred by detention of a team of environment and human rights activists proceeding to the uranium mining plant in Tummalapalle. The team led by senior chemical scientist and environment expert Dr K Babu Rao was invited by locals for support.
The police detained the expert team and kept them in police station till evening. But, following protests by villagers, the police allowed Babu Rao and others to interact with nuclear scientists and officials from UCIL and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). (Times of India Apr. 10, 2018)

Water pollution from Tummalapalle uranium mine affects local agriculture and residents' health: KK Kotala is one of the most affected villages in the area, facing soil and groundwater contamination ever since the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) set up a mine and a processing plant in the neighbouring village of Tummalapalle.
Locals allege that the uranium mine's tailing pond, a wet storage area where the by-products discharged from the mine are transported by a pipeline for containment, is not leak-proof. Due to this, they say that the slush enters their farms and water sources, thereby affecting agriculture and other forms of livelihood in the area.
Activists and locals are now demanding that the UCIL must adopt measures to tackle the pollution as per The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.
Speaking to TNM, Dr K Babu Rao, a retired scientist of the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) and a Human Rights Forum (HRF) activist said, "Trial runs were conducted for the pilot studies from 2012 and for 5 years there was unchecked dumping of chemical wastage … which led to deterioration of the soil in the area." Recently, a team of experts from various departments of the AP government constituted a committee to study the impact of the effluents from UCIL on agriculture and allied sectors in the surrounding villages of the same mandal. The team's findings (a copy of which is with TNM), sent this month to Kadapa Collector, T Baburao Naidu, reported that soil in the three villages was alkaline with a pH range in between 8.5 and 10 which "generally hinders crop growth." It also noted that the availability of nutrients for the plants to grow was also very low.
The Ground Water Department observed precipitation along several areas of the drip-pipeline, which suggested that heavy rainfall and shallow water table conditions led to sodium bicarbonate leaching into the water table in the region. (The News Minute Feb. 23, 2018)

More uranium reserves found at Tummalapalle mine: Tummalapalle village in Kadapa district hosts more uranium reserves than believed. Researchers have now found uranium reserves buried at 1,000 metres in the earth at Tummalapalle and surrounding areas. Earlier, uranium reserves were found only up to a depth of about 250 metres. The finding could mean that the Tummalapalle uranium mine may last beyond 2050. The present reserves are expected to last between 20 and 30 years depending on the quantum of uranium oxide ore excavated per year. (Times of India Jan. 20, 2017)

UCIL plans 50% capacity increase for Tummalapalle uranium mine: Buoyed by the high quality uranium reserves at Tummalapalle in Kadapa district, the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) has proposed to expansion of its production capacity from the present 0.9 million tonnes [of ore] per annum to 1.35 million tonnes per annum.
The Reconstituted Expert Appraisal Committee (non coal mining) directed that the UCIL conduct an environment impact assessment (EIA) and environment management (EM) survey besides public hearing in Tummalapalle and surrounding villages. The Expert Appraisal Committee will take a final call based on the EIAEM studies. Earlier, the Union ministry of environment, forests and climate change (MoEFCC) cleared the proposal for expansion.
[...] Though the uranium reserves in Kadapa district could fuel the nuclear power plants in the country for several decades, several studies conducted in and around Tummalapalle revealed contamination of water, soil and air.
The UCIL is likely to face tough environmental battle from rights groups as it prepares to hold the EIAEM survey and public hearings. Incidentally, the UCIL has held back its plans to set up a uranium mining plant in Nalgonda district following strong resentment from the rights groups and the locals.
The UCIL submitted the expansion proposal on June 29, 2016. The expert committee heard the UCIL's and other proposals during November 23-25, 2016 and upload the result on its website on December 7, 2016 calling for EIAEM study and public hearing. Since this is a long drawn procedure, the expansion may not take place during the year. The project area is spared over 973.61 hectares and the UCIL made it clear that it will not increase the project area while expanding the production capacity by 0.45 million tonnes.
The UCIL also envisages expansion of the existing ore processing plant commensurate with the increased mining production. According to the proposal submitted to the expert committee, the mine and associated ore processing plant will come up on 813.61 hectares in Tummalapalle, Mobbuchintapalle, Bumayigaripalle and Rachakuntapalle villages.
A disposal unit has been planned over 60 hectares at Kottalu village, six km away from the plant. "With present plan for enhancement of production capacity and deepening of the mine at a later stage (as most part of the reserve is below 275 metres), the overall life of the operations is expected to be for more than 30 years. However, the reserve up to a depth of 275 metres is expected to last for 20 years at the expanded capacity ," the UCIL said in its proposal. After processing the ore, uranium concentrate will be sent to the Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) in Hyderabad through road. (Times of India Jan. 11, 2017)
> Download: Minutes of Expert Appraisal Committee meeting held during November 23-25, 2016 (902k PDF, see p.53-59)

High levels of heavy metals found in water and soil at villages around Tummalapalle uranium mine: The quality of water in uranium-rich Tummalapalle and surrounding villages in Kadapa district has deteriorated with high levels of heavy and trace metals. Researchers suggest that the state government should immediately initiate remedial measures to prevent further deterioration of the environment.
Researchers have found that wind and rain are responsible for the spread of the contamination from the mining area to other localities in the region.
Researchers from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University-Anantapur and its affiliated JNTUA College of Engineering at Pulivendula, analysed samples of water and soil collected from Mabbuchintalapalle, Tummalapalle, Rajakuntapalle, Bhomaiahgaripalle, and V Kota villages to find out the extent of deterioration. They detected heavy and trace metals like barium, cobalt, chromium, copper, molybdenum, nickel, lead, rubidium, strontium, vanadium, yttrium, zinc, and zirconium.
Only nickel, strontium, zinc, zirconium, and rubidium were within the permissible limit, while other elements crossed the maximum limit. "The increased levels of barium, arsenic, cobalt, chromium, copper, molybdenum, lead, vanadium and yttrium are a major concern for the suitability in agricultural and other land management practices," the researchers said, warning that they may enter the food chain. (Times of India Dec. 3, 2016)
P. Mamatha, K. Aruna, T. Mohammad Munawar and A. V. N. Swamy: Heavy Metal Analysis in soil samples of Some Villages Near Uranium Corporation of India Limited Thummalapalle using Wavelength-Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry, in: International Journal of Advanced Research (2016), Volume 4, Issue 7, p.1-6 (ISSN 2320-5407, open access).

Uranium concentrations in ground water near Thummalapalle uranium mine below WHO guideline: researchers: The quantum of uranium in the groundwater of Thummalapalle, in Kadapa district, is below the maximum limit prescribed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and therefore does not pose an immediate risk to people living in the area, concluded a team of researchers.
Researchers from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU), Anantapur, Health Physics Unit of Nuclear Fuel Complex, Hyderabad, and Environmental Assessment Division of BARC, Mumbai conducted the study.
In the backdrop of UCIL's operations, researchers collected about two dozen groundwater samples from Thummalapalle and surrounding villages. The samples spanned 12 months covering both pre-monsoon and post-monsoon periods.
According to Prof Suggala V Satyanarayana, the uranium concentration in ground water varied slightly between pre-monsoon and post-monsoon months, with summer period recording high concentration of this radioactive element. However, the average reading was below the WHO guideline value of 30 micro-grams per litre of water, he said. "We conducted background concentration of natural uranium and other physicochemical parameters in drinking water around Thummalapalle uranium mining and milling site. Water samples from 24 locations showed uranium concentration ranging between 2 micro-grams per litre and 34 micro-grams per litre during summer. Over all, it was below 30 micro-grams per litre prescribed by the WHO," Prof Satyanarayana told TOI.
Around 96 per cent of water samples analysed contained uranium below the WHO norms, he said. (Times of India Feb. 3, 2014)

Protests against expansion of Tummalapalle uranium mill: Mild tension prevailed at the site for the proposed uranium plant at Thummalapalle village in Vemula mandal on Wednesday (June 19) with the police using mild force to quell the CPI (Communist Party of India) activists who staged a protest against the second phase works of the plant.
Scores of CPI activists led by their party's state secretary K Narayana gathered at the plant site and shouted slogans against the government for giving permission for the plant. They also tried to barge into the plant premises but prevented by the police, who were deployed there in large numbers to respond to any untoward incidents. Alleging that the Congress government is playing havoc with the lives of the people by setting up the uranium plant at Thummalapalle, Narayana demanded that the government shut down the plant immediately. (Indian Express June 20, 2013)

Residents complain about environmental impacts of Tummalapalle uranium project: Uranium mining at Thummalapalle in Pulivendula and Kadiri in Anantapur district is leading to radiation and causing water pollution, thus endangering the health of people, Rayalaseema Rashtra Samithi [political party] president K. Venkatasubba Reddy alleged on Tuesday (June 4). A 140 km. tunnel was being dug for excavating uranium and it caused steep depletion of groundwater, he said. Drinking water was being contaminated and water was not available for irrigation, he alleged.
Meanwhile, United Forum Against Uranium Project leaders submitted a memorandum to in-charge District Collector [chief administrative officer] K. Nirmala complaining against the UCIL Executive Director. The UCIL laid tailing pipeline through two acres of land belonging to L. Damodar Reddy in Mabbuchinthalapalle in Vemula mandal, they alleged. The pipeline leakage on April 22 led to the death of goats due to internal chemical injuries and skin burns when they entered the sludge pond. (The Hindu June 5, 2013)

Protests against planned expansion of Tummalapalle uranium mill: The Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) plans to increase the uranium ore processing capacity at its plant has met with stiff resistance from locals of Thummalapalle village and environmental activists. The activists oppose the expansion plans saying that it will further pollute the resource-rich belt in Kadapa.
The Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) is planning to increase the uranium ore processing capacity at its plant at Thummalapalle village in Vemula mandal of the district from the present 3,000 tonnes per day (tpd) to 4,500 tpd. It will hold a public hearing on May 30 to elicit the opinion of the local people and environmental activists before going ahead with the expansion. (Times of India May 20, 2013)

Final product packaging plant commissioned at Tumallapalle uranium mill - nine months after inauguration; extension planned: State-owned Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL) has commissioned the final product packaging plant at its Tumallapalle mine and processing plant in Cuddapah district of Andhra Pradesh. "We have achieved a milestone by launching the first unit in Andhra Pradesh and put it on trial run since last Wednesday," said UCIL Chairman-cum-Managing Director Diwakar Acharya. Addressing a press conference today at Narwapahar project premises, about 20 km from here, Acharya expressed satisfaction over the progress of Tumallapalle project, which will be the largest plant of UCIL with a capacity of 3,000 tonnes ore production as well as processing per day. The work is going on in full swing and the plant is expected to be fully operational soon, he said, adding that Uranium Corporation has invested around Rs 11 billion [US$ 202 million] in the project, which was the first unit of the PSU [public sector undertaking] beyond Jharkhand.
After the commissioning of the project, the company has plans to expand it in the vicinity and extract additional 1,500 tonnes ore per day. "We will be investing another over Rs 8 billion [US$ 147 million] for the expansion," he said, adding that UCIL has plans to take up another expansion in Kanampalle. The Tumallapalle plant would reach a production capacity of 6,000 tonnes per day following the commissioning of all the three phases. (The Hindu Jan. 18, 2013)

Groundwater abstraction for Tummalapalle uranium mine endangers agriculture: The much-touted uranium project has proven to be a curse on the farmers of villages adjacent to the project area in Vemula mandal. The miners have been continuously pumping out ground water, on which most of farmers had been depending upon for their agricultural needs. With ground water fast depleting after uranium mining was taken up in the 19 sq km area, in Tummalapalli, Rachakuntapalli, Bhumaiagaripalli and KK Kottala villages, around the mining area, farmers now lament that they are not able to get water even at a depth of 1,000 ft. (IBN Aug. 21, 2012)

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Jharkhand (India)

General (Jharkhand)

Independent report prepared on environmental impacts of new uranium mines in Jharkhand: Reckless dumping of radioactive waste in Jharkhand is contaminating surface and ground water, putting thousands of locals at risk of developing cancer, according to a report by independent researchers.
For its three new mines i.e. Turamdih, Banduhurang and Mohuldih Uranium Mine, UCIL has one tailing pond at Talsa village, which fails to prevent sludge overflow and is not even fenced.
PT George, director of research institute Intercultural Resources , and independent writer Tarun Kanti Bose, spent six months studying the effects of uranium mining in the areas around the mines. Their report, Paradise Lost, released recently, states that UCIL's irresponsible dumping in the vicinity of Jaduguda village (in Purbi Singhbhum district) is extremely worrisome as continued exposure to radiation will lead to increased cases of leukaemia and other blood diseases.
Heaps of uranium mining wastes have been abandoned in Dhodanga, Kerwadungri villages and those around Banduhurang open cast mine, according to the report. "The dumping has been going on for the last five years," said Ghanshyam Birulee, a 45-year-old resident of Jaduguda village. "Despite complaints to UCIL, it has failed to take any action." (DNA June 8, 2013)

A Paradise Lost: Tribes of Jharkhand fight against Uranium Mines - A Report on the Impacts of New Uranium Mines in Jharkhand, by Tarun Kanti Bose and PT George, 2013, 32 p.


Baghjanta mine (Jharkhand)

(also spelled Bagjata)

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Displacement victims of Bagjata uranium mine still deprived of basic amenities: Bagjata Mines Displacement Victims' Core Committee has come out in protest against ongoing recruitments in Bagjata Uranium Project. A meeting of the outfit was held at Bagjata on Sunday (Oct. 23). It was chaired by Zila Parishad member Shiv Nath Mardi. Several vital decisions were taken on this occasion.
Mardi said the displacement victims of Bagjata Mines were still deprived of basic amenities pertaining to education, health, road and employment. He said 19 years had passed but the condition of the displacement victims had not improved a bit. The demand for employment raised by the dependents of deceased displacement victims is also unfulfilled till date, he said. (Avenue Mail Oct. 23, 2022)

Worker dies in accident at Bagjata uranium mine: second fatality within a week: Work at the Bagjata mine of Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL) located at Musaboni remained affected for 12 hours on Thursday (Aug. 11), following a fatal mishap in which a casual worker died.
Sources in UCIL said Fakir Hansda (40) was clearing a road after blasts were conducted in the uranium pit, when a boulder fell on him in the wee hours on Thursday. He was rushed to the UCIL hospital in Jaduguda, but could not be saved.
Upon hearing the news of Hansda's death, the aggrieved family members and neighbours rushed to the site. They demanded a job for the next of the kin of the deceased, and monetary compensation for the family. Later, enraged locals placed the body of the deceased at the site and refused to conduct the last rites till the demands are accepted.
"Safety has become an issue with the UCIL. This is the second fatality in the past seven days," said former Zila Parishad member Budheswar Murmu, who led the protest. (Times of India Aug. 12, 2022)

Ore transport from Bagjata uranium mine interrupted by villager who dug up road in quest for promised job at UCIL: Transportation of uranium ore from Bagjata mines at Mosabani in Ghatshila subdivision to Uranium Corporation of India's Jadugoda plant was affected on Thursday (Nov. 30) after a villager dug up the connecting road at Nimdih village demanding a job with the corporation.
Budheswar Mahali took the drastic step because he was promised a job at UCIL after had given land for constructing the Nimdih-Bagjata road to transport uranium ore a decade ago. Supported by around 50 villagers, Mahali squatted on the road right through the day and did not allow any UCIL vehicle to pass through that stretch. (The Telegraph Dec. 1, 2017)

Ore transport from Bagjata uranium mine suspended, after rebels set truck with ore on fire: Transporting companies suspended the ore transportation after one of their trucks were torched by Maoists near Bakra bridge on Musabani-Bagjata road, around 50km from the district headquarters, on May 7.
"The 3000-ton Jadugora uranium mill is at present functioning to its full capacity. But we have limited stock of ore. The enrichment [ore concentration] exercise will take a hit as the remaining 500 ton of ore, which was normally supplied from the Bagjata mine, has not been delivered owing to suspension of ore transportation work," said UCIL's public relations officer Pinaki Roy. (The Times of India May 11, 2014)
An armed squad of CPI(Maoist) torched a dumper transporting uranium ore to a plant belonging to Uranium Corporation of India in Ghatshila around midnight last night, prompting the PSU to knock on the doors of the police for extra security. "The uranium ore-laden dumper had been intercepted by the rebel squad 10 minutes after it had left Bagjata mines around 12.30am," said SP (rural) Shailendra Kumar Srivastava. (The Telegraph May 7, 2014)

Rebels press for jobs for displaced residents at Bagjata uranium mine: In the wake of Maoist posters appearing every now and then on heavy vehicles that ferry Uranium ore from Bagjata mines to Jadugora processing unit, in adjoining Seraikela-Kharsawan district, the Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL) has expressed apprehensions over excavation work. The CPI (Maoist) squad leaders have threatened transporters with dire consequences if they continue to do business with the UCIL as local people are allegedly opposed to the excavation work at Bagjata.
The banned outfit had been demanding permanent jobs for the locals in the company as compensation against land acquisition in Bagjata is already mired in controversy. "Over 150 displaced families in Bagjata are yet to be compensated but the company refuses to recognize them as oustees," said a member of the Jharkhand Krantikari Mazdoor Union apparently confirming Maoists demand. (Times of India Jan. 28, 2014)

Protests stall excavation at Bagjata and Mahuldih uranium mines: Excavation work at two important mines of the state-owned Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL) has been stalled following protests by local residents, whose demands include permanent jobs in the company as compensation against land acquisition. Work at Bagjata and Jadugoda mines are under suspension for nearly a week.
"The protesters (in Bagjata) are demanding that 150 be employed on permanent roll in the company in the next one year which is not feasible as we have fulfilled all compensatory obligations in accordance with the existing R&R (rehabilitation and resettlement) policy of the company," said UCIL executive director Pinaki Roy. (Times of India Oct. 19, 2012)

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Bandugurang, Jharkhand (India)

(also spelled Banduhurang, Bandurang)

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Contract workers rally for permanent jobs at Bandugurang uranium mine
About 500 people, including 341 contract employees of the Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL)'s open pit Bandurang mine, on Tuesday (Aug. 6) staged a demonstration at the district headquarters (in Jamshedpur) seeking restoration of their the jobs. The agitating employees who arrived at the deputy commissioner office travelling 50 km from Bandurang, suspect foul play behind the corporation's decision to terminate the private firm GOIL from the job that had employed them at the open cast mine. (Times of India Aug. 7, 2013)

Workers on strike at Bandugurang uranium mine
Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL) has suspended its operations in the Banduhrang open cast mines owing to rift between the workers and management of the private agency hired by the corporation to carry out mining work at the mines. The Gulf Oil Company, which is carrying out the excavation work at the mines, has failed to resolve the longstanding wage issues of the workers following which the enraged workers have been on strike for the last one week. (Times of India May 21, 2012)

Tribal villagers protest against land acquisition for Banduhurang tailings dam
Traffic movement was disrupted for about two hours at the Old Court Road in Sakchi (Jamshedpur) on the afternoon of May 19, 2009, as tribal villagers staged a demonstration against a land acquisition drive by the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL). The agitators with placards and banners were up in arms against the PSU (Public Sector Undertaking) for its land acquisition drive.
Earlier, UCIL, through a public notice issued last month, had informed the villagers of its land acquisition drive. The company proposes to acquire 276.62 acres for its tailing pond project. The tailing pond will be used for dumping waste generated from UCIL's Banduhurang mines.
Talsa village chief Durga Chandra Murmu claimed that more than 1,500 families would be affected if lands were acquired. According to Murmu, a large patch of agricultural land would be acquired by the company for developing the proposed tailing pond. "Most of the villagers are dependent on agriculture and would not gain anything form the mining projects. We don't want to lose our land, which is the only thing tribals have been left with," added Murmu. (The Telegraph May 19, 2009)

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Jaduguda, Jharkhand (India)

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Mohuldih mine (Jharkhand)

(also spelled Mahuldih)

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Workers at Turamdih and Mohuldih uranium mines on strike over COVID-19-based pay cuts:
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Protests stall excavation at Bagjata and Mahuldih uranium mines: Excavation work at two important mines of the state-owned Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL) has been stalled following protests by local residents, whose demands include permanent jobs in the company as compensation against land acquisition. Work at Bagjata and Jadugoda mines are under suspension for nearly a week.
In Mahuldih, stand-off between contract workers and authorities of the mining firm over wage revision has hit mining. "We look forward to soon resolve the stand-off at both the mines as the local administration is also co-operating with us," said Roy. According to the authorities, frequent agitations are impairing progress of work at UCIL.
Operations at Jadugoda mine, the premier uranium enterprise's seventh underground mine that has 500 tonne per day capacity, was commissioned few months ago. (Times of India Oct. 19, 2012)

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Narwapahar, Jharkhand (India)

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Displaced people demonstrate at Narwapahar uranium mine: Hundreds of displacement victims of Jadugora took out a protest march in support of their various demands on Wednesday (July 3). They also staged a demonstration before Narwa Pahar Uranium Project mines gate.
The protest march started at Hartopa Chowk and culminated into a gathering at mines gate. The protestors comprised a large number of women who carried placards bearing slogans to raise demand for jobs, education facility and other benefits. The protestors said those having given their land to the company should be given employment with other benefits. They alleged that hundreds of families were still deprived of jobs and other benefits due to the apathy of UCIL management. (Avenue Mail July 4, 2019)

People displaced for expansion of Narwapahar uranium mine stop uranium ore transports in demand for jobs: The indefinite agitation of displacement victims of Narwa Pahar staged a non-violent sit-in protest on the second consecutive day here on Wednesday (Sep. 28) at Narwa Main Gate. Holding placards, the agitators demanded jobs in order to call off the protest. The agitators said that the company should either give them jobs or should return their lands. The agitators, demonstrating under the banner of UCIL Narwa Pahar Visthapit Committee, were led by Somay Kisku and Khelaram Murmu. Earlier in the day, the agitators stopped the transportation of Uranium ore from Narwa to Jadugora. A large number of local youths participated in the agitation. (Avenue Mail Sep. 28, 2016)

People displaced for expansion of Narwapahar uranium mine block mine gate in demand for jobs: Demanding jobs, the Murgaghutu displaced on Friday (June 10) blocked the main gate of UCIL (Uranium Corporation of India Limited) Narwa Mines under Jadugora Police Station area, around 23 km from steel city.
Significantly, the displaced headed by Khelaram Besra of Murgaghutu panchayat were silently protesting with their demands for last one month. But when, no response came from the UCIL management, the villagers agitated and blocked the gate which resulted the dumper and heavy vehicles come to a standstill. (Avenue Mail June 11, 2016)

UCIL plans expansion of Jadugoda and Narwapahar uranium mines (Jharkhand): Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) has decided to extend Jadugoda and Narwapahar mines in East Singhbhum district. UCIL is carrying out data collection, analysis and interpretation to expand mining activities through intensive drilling and other methods. (The Telegraph Jan. 19, 2013)


Rakha, Surda and Mosaboni Uranium Recovery Plants, Jharkhand (India)

(Mosaboni also spelled Musabani, Mosabani)
(uranium is by-product of copper production)

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India abandons plan for revival of uranium recovery from copper tailings at Mosabani: UCIL had proposed to construct, in phases, two uranium recovery plants at Mosabani for a total capacity of 0.9 MTPA to recover uranium concentrate by physical beneficiation (tabling) of the copper tailings generated in the Mosabani Concentrator Plant of Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL), for subsequent production of Heat-Treated Uranium Peroxide (HTUP) from this concentrate at the uranium ore processing plant of UCIL at Jaduguda. The MoEF&CC had granted Environmental Clearance (EC) for the project.
The Project Appraisal Committee (PAC) of the Department of Atomic Energy had recommended approval of the project. Following that, UCIL submitted the applications for the supply of water, electricity, and land acquisition to the concerned authorities, and these were in process.
Prior to the floating of tender packages, UCIL reviewed the projected production schedule of copper tailings submitted by Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL), vide. Letter No. HCL/CMD/2021, dated April 12, 2021. During the review, UCIL noted the uncertainties in the feed rate from the Mosabani beneficiation plant and the pending statutory clearances for the copper mine supplying ore to this plant and decided not to proceed further. The PAC deliberated the matter and recommended the short closure of the project. DAE approved this recommendation in November 2021. (UCIL Annual Report 2021-22)

Government of India issues Environmental Clearance for uranium recovery from copper tailings at Musabani: On Oct. 11, 2018, India's Ministry of Environment issued the Environmental Clearance for the "Uranium recovery plant from Copper tailing at Mosabani for the capacity of 0.9 MTPA by M/s Uranium Corporation of India Limited located at Mosabani, East Singhbam District, Jharkhand".
> Download: Environmental Clearance , Gov. of India, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Oct. 11, 2018 (6.5MB PDF)

UCIL to revive plant for uranium recovery from copper tailings at Musabani: The state-run Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL) will revive its uranium recovery plant in Musabani, 53 km from the district headquarters. In light of improved prospects for copper mining, the Musabani-based Hindustan Copper Ltd (HCL) has decided to expand its mines and its concentrator plant, and UCIL has accordingly decided to revive its plant at the same location.
The proposed plant, called Musabani Uranium Recovery Plant (MURP), is spread over 4.158 hectares between Rangamatiya and Badia villages. The plant will utilize the tailings received from HCLs Copper Concentrator Plant (HCCP) to extract uranium-bearing material. The uranium content of the tailings will be upgraded to a certain amount by tabling method of mineral beneficiation. After recovery of uranium bearing material, the remaining tailings will be pumped back to HCCP. (Times of India Apr. 13, 2018)


Turamdih, Jharkhand (India)

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Workers at Turamdih and Mohuldih uranium mines on strike over COVID-19-based pay cuts: Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL) employees working at Turamdih and Mahuldih mines at Jadugora on Thursday (May 7) went on a strike after the management allegedly resorted to salary cutting.
Employees claimed that they are getting lesser salary due to lockdown. As they turned up for the A-shift duty, the employees staged a dharna [sit in] at the entrance of the UCIL's mines' office gate demanding the payment that had been cut from their salaries. (Avenue Mail May 7, 2020)

Three miners killed and nine injured in Turamdih uranium mine accident: One miner was today killed and nine others were injured in an accident in one of the mines of Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) near here. The accident occurred at Turamdih mine in the outskirts of Jamshedpur when the workers were cleaning accumulated slush, Dalbhum sub-divisional officer Suraj Kumar said. As per the primary report water had gushed in suddenly causing the mud to flow and trapping the miners, UCIL chairman-cum-managing director Diwakar Acharya told PTI. One of them, Milan Karmakar was killed, while 11 others were trapped in the slush. Nine of them have been rescued. Operations were on to rescue the rest two and the injured were rushed to Tata Main Hospital, where their condition was stated to be stable, he said. (Business Standard May 28, 2016)

According to The Telegraph of May 30, 2016, the death toll has risen to three.

Expansion of Turamdih uranium mill tailings pond approved: "The 2nd stage tailings pond at Turamdih will create capacity for management of tailings of Turamdih plant. AERB clearance of the project has been obtained." (48th Annual Report 2014-15, Uranium Corporation of India Limited)

Anti-uranium mining activist murdered: Anti-Uranium mining activist, Salku Chaki (32) father of three small children was brutally murdered on 4th August. His body was found in the UCIL Turamdih colony. (IndiaResists Aug. 6/8, 2014)

Landlosers stop UCIL officials from accessing Turamdih uranium mine: Two officials of Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) were assaulted today allegedly by angry landlosers at Turamdih on the outskirts of Jamshedpur, officials said. "A group of villagers stopped the employees from going to Turamdih mine. They assaulted General Manager (Mill) S K Srivastav and Deputy General Manager (Mechanical) Guha Niyogi along with others," Chairman-cum-Managing Director of UCIL, Dr Ramendra Gupta, told PTI. Works have been suspended at Turamdih mine, its processing plant and Bandurang open pit mine, he said. The protesters including an employee of UCIL, who was suspended yesterday, gathered at the main gate of Turamdih mine and stopped employees from getting in the mine premises demanding employment, Gupta said. UCIL had acquired around 300 acres of land at Dhodanga village in 2005 but the villagers have illegally set up dwelling units on it. They have been preventing UCIL from blasting the area for mining, CMD said. (IBNLive Apr. 5, 2011)

Second public hearing on expansion of Turamdih uranium mill stalled after protests by villagers: A public hearing on expansion of UCIL's Turamdih mines was put off today (March 10) after an irate village mob chased away Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board (JSPCB) officials and held the uranium majorís senior general manager (personnel) hostage. This was the second time a public hearing organised by the regional office of JSPCB for UCIL was stalled. The first was called off on October 20 last year, when villagers barricaded the venue.
Today's hearing was scheduled at Turamdih football grounds at 11am. No sooner did senior JSPCB and UCIL officials begin proceedings, some villagers armed with traditional weapons like bows and arrows and swords started shouting anti-UCIL slogans. "We will not allow expansion of the mines because the company cheated on us. Though it is not acquiring extra acres now, it never compensated those who were displaced when the Turamdih mines became operational," said Ashok Karmakar, a protester. (The Telegraph, Calcutta, March 10, 2011)

Turamdih uranium mill halted for water shortage: The production in the processing plant of Turamdih uranium mine has been suspended due to water shortage, officials said. S K Srivastav, General Manager of Processing Plant of UCIL, said the processing plant, which has 3000 ton per day capacity, has been lying idle for the last four days as the water source of Kharkhai river has dried up. About 8000 to 9000 cusec (cubic feet per second) [= 226 - 255 cubic metres per second !?] water is needed to run the plant, he said. Srivastav said efforts have been underway to draw water from the nearby areas. He said UCIL has decided to transfer the mine water from Jadugora mine to run the mine for a few days. A study has been carried out in the nearby areas to identify a spot from where water could be drawn, officials said. (PTI Mar. 3, 2011)

Protest leads to scrapping of public hearing on expansion of Turamdih uranium mill: A public hearing on the proposed expansion of public sector Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) at the uranium mine in Turamdih could not take place today (Oct. 20) due to protest by villagers. Organised by Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board on the directive of the central government, the hearing was to take place for expansion of UCIL's processing plant from the existing capacity of 3000 tonne per day to 4500 tonne per day.
However, officials of East Singhbhum district, UCIL and PCB could not reach the venue at Turamdih football ground as hundreds of villagers under the banner of Jharkhand Krantikari Mazdoor Union (JKMU) locked all the entry points and staged a massive demonstration against the hearing, UCIL sources said. JKMU president Fudan Murmu said the UCIL and PCB had violated all norms of the public hearing as it did not issue any notice to the Gram Sabha concerned or the affected villagers beforehand. Besides, the hearing, which should have been taken place in a public place, was being organized in the UCIL's premises in violation of the guidelines, he alleged.
Apprehending that several families would be affected following the expansion, Murmu said about 500 tribal families, displaced by UCIL's projects in 1983-84 and 2005, were not yet given any employment or adequate compensation. Members of displaced families had been implicated in false cases by the UCIL management in the past, he claimed. Besides, rampant pollution due to mining was also a cause behind our protest, he said. (PTI Oct. 20, 2010)

UCIL to commission Turamdih mine soon: On July 5, 2008, the Chairman and Managing Director of Uranium Corp of India (UCIL) Ramendra Gupta said a processing plant with an installed capacity of 3,000 tons per day was on trial run at Turamdih mine, and is likely to be commissioned soon. Pointing out that UCIL has invested Rs 8 billion [US$ 185 million] during the last five years for expansion, he said two open cast mines one at Bandujurang and Turamdih each have already been commissioned, whereas two others - Bagjata and Mahuldih - were under construction. Gupta said there was a need for further expansion of Turamdih plant. Referring to the mining lease, he said it had been approved but execution was still awaited.
To a query about flow-in of uranium waste from the Turamdih tailing pond in the Talsa village following record rainfall on June 18, 2008, Gupta said there was some water flow-in in the village due to heavy rain. However, compensation to the affected family equivalent to one year crop had been given, he said.
Referring to the construction of another tailing pond, he said UCIL had deposited 80 per cent of the cost land four years ago but it was yet to be approved by the government. (The Economic Times July 5, 2008)

Heavy rain causes tailings overflow into Turamdih village: Owing to the record 338.1 mm rainfall on June 17, 2008, in Jharkhand State of India, maximum in the past six decades, radioactive wastes from the tailing pond of Turamdih uranium mines on the outskirts of the Jamshedpur city has reportedly spilled over into the village ponds, wells and fields. According to the sources, the spill over was obvious due to torrential rain as there is no way to divert the water flowing into the village.
After the uranium ore is mined and processed here, the "yellow cake'" is sent to the Nuclear Fuel Complex in Hyderabad for enrichment. The waste is then brought back to the UCIL (Uranium Corporation of India Limited) complex for further extraction, after which the waste is dumped, into the ponds.
Apprehending threat to lives, the villagers have reportedly stopped fetching water from the wells and ponds. The UCIL admitted the spill over but said there is no threat to life due to radiation. A team of scientists from Bhabha Atomic Research Centre visited the affected village and collected water samples for analysis. (American Chronicle June 24, 2008)

The Turamdih uranium mill was inaugurated on June 25, 2007. The plant has a processing capacity of 3,000 tonnes of uranium ore per day. The construction cost was Rs 3.5 billion [US$ 86 million]. The plant will process the uranium ore extracted from the Turamdih and Mohuldih underground mines and the Banduhurang open cast mine. (Times of India, June 25, 2007)

The East Sighbhum district administration has served a showcause notice on the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) for unauthorised mining in Fuljhari, Turamdih and another two new mines in Keuradungrui. According to East Singhbhum Deputy Commissioner (DC) Nitin Kulkarni, UCIL illegally started mining, while the applications for mining are still pending with the State Government. (Ranchi Express Oct. 16, 2006)

According to UCIL chairman-cum-managing director Ramendra Gupta, the Turamdih ore processing plant is to be commissioned by December, 2006. (PTI June 6, 2006)

The construction of the Turamdih uranium mill has begun and should be completed by 2006-2007. (PTI, March 19, 2005)

The new Turamdih uranium mine was opened on Nov. 9, 2002. (Times of India Nov. 2002)

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