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The global uranium rush and its Africa frontier. Lessons from Namibia
Conde Puigmal, Marta; Kallis, Giorgos
Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals; Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Uranium mines are the - often forgotten - source of nuclear power. The promotion of nuclear energy as a clean alternative and the projected increase of electricity demand in countries such as China and India, have led to a global “uranium rush”, unseen since the peak of the Cold War. This article studies the formation of the expanding nuclear frontier looking at the interaction between the global uranium metabolism, industrial dynamics and local ecologies of resistance using Namibia as a case-study. Namibia, the world´s fourth largest producer of uranium, stands at the frontier of this rush with sixty-six recently granted prospecting licenses that could turn into mines, compared to only three currently operating mines. We focus on three generic attributes that help to explain the emergence and intensity of resistance by local communities to uranium mining: the ecology and geography of the resource; the degree and type of political and economic marginalization of the community; and crucially, the connection and integration of local concerns with broader social movements and political demands. We show with the use of empirical material how these factors play out differently in five Namibian communities that have been, or stand to be, affected by uranium mining, and explain how local ecologies of resistance shape the global uranium rush.
2011-10-26
504 - Ciències del medi ambient
Urani -- Oferta i demanda
Urani -- Explotació -- Aspectes socials
Mines d'urani -- Namíbia
Política del medi ambient -- Namíbia
Moviments socials -- Namíbia
Energia nuclear -- Aspectes ambientals
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Working Paper
Working Papers on Environmental Sciences;
         

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