India: Jharkhand: Nuclear disaster in Jadugoda - Toxic uranium tailings spill into the river

Tatanagar Edition, 26 December 2006, 
(web site:

UCIL's Uranium sludge mixes with Creek water, after a pipe carrying it bursts

[translation in English by Sanjeev Mahajan].

Uranium waste has started to flow in a nearby creek, after a pipe belonging to UCIL’s [Uranium Corporation of India Limited] tailing pond in Tilaitand burst. As a result, fish, frogs and other riparian life in the creek are starting to die and are washing up to the surface. Tribals from Dungaridinh allege that they informed the the Central Industrial Security Force about this disaster Sunday morning, but that even after 9 hours, no officer from CISF  bothered to even show up at the disaster site. It was only around 4 pm that the flow of Uranium sludge into the tailing pond from the Mill House was arrested, and the villagers could finally breathe a sigh of relief. Scared and angry villagers have stopped all work in the area and no dumpers or trucks are now allowed in or out of the area. Although workers from UCIL have started to repair the pipe since Monday morning, the villagers say this is not enough.  They say that UCIL is also obliged to clean up the toxic sludge which has formed a thick layer on the surface of the creek. Unless this is done, they will continue to agitate and will not allow further work. Ghanshyam Biruli, the president of Jharkhand Organization against Radiation (JOAR), has also arrived at the disaster site. He says that people bathe and wash clothes in the creek water. Since the pipe burst on Sunday, the villagers have been quite distraught and fearful.

According to Biruli, the creek water has stopped flowing because a thick layer of Uranium sludge has formed on the surface of the creek starting from Dungaridinh and ending at the colony temple. It is quite likely that the Gurra and Svarnalekha rivers will also be adversely affected by this environmental disaster. This Uranium sludge is dumped from the Jadugoda unit of the UCIL though a pipe into the tailing pond. After the pipe burst, and the Uranium sludge started to flow into the creek, fish, frogs, snakes and other riparian life forms have begun to die and are washing up to the surface. P Soren, Shripati Patro, Sukhlal Bahumik, Dubri Devgan, Sanjay Murmu, Bolay Majhi, Duli Kutiya, Prem Majhi and Sunil Murmu, all residents of Dungaridinh say that even if UCIL does clean up the mess it created, the water in the creek will still not be usable for at least 3 to 4 days. It is only after that the villagers will be able to bathe and wash clothes in the creek.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Shri Prakash <>
Date: Dec 26, 2006 9:10 PM
Subject: tailing pipe burst - paper cutting

Dear all
Johar from Jharkhand India and marry Xmas

please find a paper cutting  in Hindi of a radiation disaster.....
the pipe which brought uranium mill tailing to tailing dam no-3
burst out yesterday and tailing spread to a water source which ultimately
meet in subsidiary of river Subranarekha.
JOAR along with villagers
blocked the road and transportation of Uranium company then company
started cleaning up the tailing from the water source......
the entire day UCIL was busy with cleaning ... they did not allow
locals to take photo... one friend went today morning to  document
visual  it so either tonight or tomorrow i will have clear picture....
also i am waiting the result of the meeting of JOAR and villagers fro
further action, as Shalini ji talked on telephone what should be the
i asked the organisation to consult with the effected people and local
as it is very important that all action match with the mood of local
so that movement or debate will have grassroots support... as we want
to send a letter of demand on this accident.......
what will be the demand we want to to know from the villagers and as
well from you, and plan of action.....
i hope i will send you more information today afternoon  or tomorrow....
please spear some time for us and suggest us what we can do in this matter.....
94315 80434

News report from Hindustan (Hindi)

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