| ||The Kakadu National Park, in Australia, has significant uranium resources (10% of world reserves) spread over three deposits: Ranger, Jabiluka and Koongarra. Even if they are located within the perimeter of a protected area and have been on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981, these deposits are statutorily excluded. The project to open a mine on Jabiluka, a site that is well-known for being the richest in uranium was abandoned after a fiveyear legal battle between mining companies and the Mirrar aborigines who are traditionally the owners of this sacred land. Only Ranger has an extraction authorization. In this area where waste is thrown out, large sprinklers water the banks to reduce the risks of dust propagation and leave soleplates deposits. With two other large deposits on its territory, Australia has over a quarter of the world’s known mineral reserves and produces about a quarter of the 40.000 tons of uranium extracted in the world every year. Uranium supplies the world’s nuclear power stations with fuel mainly shared out between the United States, France and Japan. In 2006, Australia signed an agreement with China to cooperate for “the peaceful use of nuclear energy”. The Chinese already have sixteen nuclear power stations (26 new ones are under construction) and intend to double their nuclear energy production by 2020 with Australian uranium.
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