Nuclear energy always has been, and probably will be for the duration of its existence the subject of controversy and contention for many; but often the enmity encircles radioactive waste and its particular disposal or threats of enormous disaster tragedies, as happened at Chernobyl in 1986 and Fukushima in 2011. Seldom does such contention revolve around the concern of the sourcing of uranium for nuclear energy — but it should.
Golden Misabiko, an award winning human rights activist, risked his life exposing governmental corruption — and risks to workers’ well-being, environmental damage, and international gain flow — surrounding the uranium mining industry in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In fact, after releasing a report in 2009 connecting the government to prohibited, on-going operations at the Shinkolobwe mine in Katanga — which had apparently been shut down in 1960 after an infamous history that comprised sourcing stuff for the bombs used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki — Misabiko was detained, jailed, and tortured. He just survived.
The imprisonment for blowing the whistle of Misabiko prompted international outcry, including an appeal because of his release by Amnesty International. When freed in August of that year, he managed to flee to South Africa — though his lovely wife and children haven’t been as fortunate, and have not been able to depart the Congo despite the efforts of the family since then.
French nuclear energy firm Areva now lawfully plunders uranium resources and exploits miners through a contract with all the Congolese government which has yet to be disclosed to the public — though it supposedly gives the company rights to unlimited export of the Congo’s whole uranium supply. Areva’s history in exploiting workers and contaminating the ecosystem, including in Niger, is well-known to Misabiko, and as “several studies claim,” includes negligence for “even basic security, health and environmental protection standards.”