Nuking the Plateau

August 14, 2011

Torah Kachur


Torah on Location in Lhasa, Tibet.


It is amazing how humans keep doing things that destroy the very thing that lets us live:  the Earth.


Tibetan Plateau Nuclear Waste Dumping China tibet


I'm in Lhasa, Tibet right now and it is a true human spectacle of faith, culture and harmony with nature.  Or at least it is for now, the Chinese government continues to pillage the roof of the world with incessant dumping of nuclear waste, irresponsible mining practices and unrelenting development of one of the most pristine ecosystems on the planet.


Dumping of nuclear waste on the Tibetan Plateau is not news, most people agree that the enriched uranium and its associated waste from China's nuclear weapons programs made its way to both Gansu and Qinghai provinces as early as the 1980's.  Despite repeated denials by Beijing, the central government finally confirmed that some radioactive waste from its nuclear weapons program at the "Ninth Academy" was, in fact, disposed of in a region that is a headwater for the great Yellow River.  In addition, more scathing reports suggest that the dumping wasn't done by any industry 'standard' such as above ground storage in sealed casks or deep tunneling and burial - instead, reports that unspent uranium was left in shallow graves.   Except, with a name like '', a hidden agenda is hardly surprising.


Nuclear Waste Dumping China tibet Science in Seconds Torah Kachur


There is some evidence that the waste disposal practices of the Chinese military didn't exactly conform to IATA regulations.  Investigations conducted by the Washington based International Campaign for Tibet have revealed that at least 50 people died that lived near Lake Kokoner and the "Ninth Academy"  in the early 1990s from eating radioactive contaminated meat, however these numbers have not been confirmed by another monitoring body.  Access for independent research into the long term effects of this past dumping (and potentially current dumping) have not been allowed by the CCP and thus we can only guess at the damage done.


The potential result of poisoning the Tibetan plateau is catastrophic: half of the world's populations relies of water from the Tibetan plateau and the Himalayas.  Some of the world's great rivers start from the roof of the world - the Ganges, the Indus, the Mekong, the Yangtze and the Yellow Rivers.  Regardless of politics, hidden agendas or ulterior motives - dumping nuclear waste in fragile ecosystems is wrong.  Radioactive waste in fragile ecosystems that also provide 49% of the 6 billion people on Earth with drinking water is just plain stupid.


(A wee bit of a rant today)


Note:  The Great Firewall has trumped me today and I cannot add links to the text.  Please see below for related links




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