Press Releases

    Re-issued as received

    UNIS/VIC/136
    16 September 2005

    The Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations and other
    International Organizations in Vienna would like to inform about the exhibition

    "Rehabilitation of Former Uranium Mining and Milling Sites"

    which will be shown on the occasion of the 49th General Conference of the IAEA at the V.I.C. Rotunda from 19 until 30 September. The exhibition has been organized by the Permanent Mission with support of the state-run rehabilitation company of former uranium mining areas, Wismut GmbH.

    The exhibition will demonstrate the progress made in Germany's largest environmental project. Once the third-largest uranium producer in the world, Wismut GmbH is now rehabilitating the legacies of uranium mining. Radioactive waste dumps, huge sedimentation basins, and mining cavities stretching for kilometres have put their stamp on an entire region -- on the aggregate, about 1400 remediation projects -- a Herculian task.

    With an exhibition area of more than 230sqm, visitors will get an impression of the decades of uranium ore mining in former East Germany, the challenges of the period of the fall of communism, and the technical and logistic efforts of the remediation process.

    This exhibition will show what a unique task it was for a former mining giant to rehabilitate its legacies. A comparable situation did not exist in the whole world. Making use of scientific information and internally developed technical procedures, the former mining sites are rehabilitated in such a manner that they do not represent further threats to the public and the environment as well as a sensible further use is made possible.

    Today, after 14 years of rehabilitation activities, this goal has already been achieved at many sites. Within a few years from today, the rehabilitation of affected areas in Saxony and Thuringia will be completed, but many former uranium mining areas in other German states are still far from achieving this result. Today, the experience and developed know-how can also be passed on to countries facing similar problems.

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