No cause for radiation alarm in Malawi, Paladin hits back at French activist

Uranium miner Paladin has hit back at French nuclear physicist Bruno Chareyron who after visiting the Kayerekera Mine in the northern district of Karonga warned that people living and working around the site risk contracting radioactive related diseases.

Walker: No cause for alarm

Walker: No cause for alarm.-Phoro by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times in Karonga

Paladin boss Walker with some members of the Karonga district council

Walker with some members of the Karonga district council.-Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times in Karonga

Paladin’s General Manager for Malawi, Greg Walker told Nyasa Times in a statemen that there is no risk to the miner’s employees or the community posed by radiation from Kayelekera Mine, which is comparable with background radiation found in many parts of the world.

Walker said it was irresponsible to suggest otherwise and unfortunate that the French expert should unnecessarily alarm people.

“It is unfortunate that Mr Chareyron seemed intent on arousing concerns over alleged health and safety issues arising from mining activities at Kayelekera,” said Walker.

The Australian miner labelled comments by Chareyron as “confrontational” concerning alleged radiation-associated health risks faced by Kayelekera employees and the community around Kayelekera Mine, which Paladin refutes.

“It is regrettable that – rather than bringing an objective and analytical perspective to the debate – since arriving in Malawi this week, Mr Chareyron merely has repeated several of the misleading and sensationalist claims made in recent weeks by local NGO activists opposed to the release of treated surplus run-off water stocks at Kayelekera Mine,” Walker said.

He said it was “disappointing” considering the fact that Chareyron made his comments after he visited Kayelekera Mine on Tuesday, 24 February 2015, when he was given the opportunity to see for himself preparations and safeguards made for the water release programme and to discuss associated issues with Company and government environmental experts.

Walker said claims concerning radiation risks to employees and the community are “ unfounded and alarmist”.

“Chareyron has referred to spillage from the run-off dam on 05 January 2015, which did not occur, and to the Company having ‘a huge accumulation of radioactive waste at the mining area,’ which is simply untrue.

“ Chareyron questioned the decision by the [government of Malawi] to use the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline for uranium content in drinking water as the standard for the discharge licence granted to Paladin, although this is widely recognized as a benchmark. Paladin believes that if Mr Chareyron has an issue with this standard, it is a matter he should properly take up with the WHO.”

He explained that employees at Kayelekera Mine are being exposed to radiation levels that are much less than the international limit for occupational doses and which are comparable to dose levels that can be found – due to natural background radiation – in many other parts of the world.

“To suggest that Kayelekera Mine employees, or the community, should require treatment or compensation for health risks associated with exposure to such low level occupational radiation is simply imprudent and misleading,” said Walker.

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15 thoughts on “No cause for radiation alarm in Malawi, Paladin hits back at French activist”

  1. Mbanangwa says:

    Walker should face crimes against humanity charges!

  2. Jelbin mk says:

    The French scientist has done his job well and if paladin has some dissatisfactions they should file a defamation case against the independent environmentalist instead of vomiting out some denials to the media. In my views Mr Chareyron is candid and can not risk a lawsuit against him by saying something that would lead a big company like paladin to loose it’s business of which he would be expected to pay if his findings are proved to be untrue and worse enough he can be stripped of his profession by loosing his practice license. Therefore I regard Walker as an enemy to Malawians who doesn’t care if we in danger or not all he cares is how much his company makes in the country and our docile government should also know that one day this country will go on smoke if it continues taking its people for granted.

  3. Pathako Pa Masangwi says:

    The north used to be dead in Kamuzu’s days. Reading this article I am left to believe the north hasn’t woken up. Imagine we have influential people in both private and government like Goodall Gondwe and the Dr. Mtumbuka’s – yet vikubekako waka nthe, while peoples lives are in danger.

    Koma vikamayankhula as if vikumanya vinthu, always boasting za masambiro. Idiots! Wake up and help your people!

  4. KUKHALA says:

    THE MALAWI PALADIN BOSS IS EQUIVALENT TO BOKOHARAM & ISIS

  5. sabiti says:

    This leared French is calling a spade by its name its up to us Mw to act on the advise, this miner is profit oriented

  6. Achimidzimidzi says:

    Kodi Ku Malawi tilibe oti angapange handle issues imeneyi? These foreigners cannot say anything to benefit us. They are always exploitative.

  7. TK says:

    This Walker guy is just dumb and he thinks he can convince us all that the mine is not a hazard. The expert opinion now tells us otherwise mines in the third world are a serious health hazard.The radio active materials that are now lying around will for ever impact on the surrounding communities through air and water. Crazy stuff. This article too seems to be written just to give Walker space, it’s not right

  8. KING SOLOMONS WISDOM says:

    THE SCIENTIST HAS DONE HIS PART.NOW WE WANT OUR GOVT TO TEL US WHAT IS DE TRUTH.ATUPELE MUST OPEN UP OR RESIGN FROM THE POST OF MIN OF MINES.WALKER MUST KEEP QUIET 4 NOW

  9. [PROTOTYPE] says:

    Radiation, you say?

  10. nyaka1 says:

    W need honest people like that french specialist coz knows hw hard the side effects are, U. Used to say dead north but ur now reaping from it on overdose basis, don’t take uis for granted coz even if u give scons but our god will deal with u as it happened with Bingu Wamuthalika. Hw come insulting us on our own mother land

  11. nyaka1 says:

    Walker is a fool, for ur own info hw many malawian nationals lost their lives from 2009-2014 and what caused the tragedy , cost of living is very high and expensive what can he lecture us on our own minerals, go back to austraria hope Malawi has no room for u n ur company. Enough is Enough

  12. Kenkkk says:

    You have a French activist as he is called and paladin giving opposing views on uranium radiation exposure risks. An activist always campaigns for his cause no matter what and in this case the French man is an environmental activist protecting the environment and people’s health just like green peace activists. Paladin is also sticking to its business interests no matter what. Balancing the two camps is very difficult, environment protection or economic development or profits or human health risks, etc.

    The people and the govt seem not to know who to believe and divided into pros and cons camps. I don’t know who called the French activist to come, we should have picked a more neutral organization or expert persons to come and assess the radiation risks.

    I suggest the govt and paladin engage WHO experts to come and verify what is happening at the mine and tell us about the uranium radiation levels at the mine whether safe or not!!!

  13. Patriot says:

    Walker and his fellow australian workers are working in the country illegally as they have no working permit. And what is this gouvernment doing? Closing their eyes. But when it comes to storm a foreign embassy then they are number one.
    Something fishy here…..Kayelekera gate, awafumbatitsa ena ake chi sikono azungu ofira ngati nkhumbawa.

  14. Che Nkope says:

    Greg walker don’t be arrogant. We hear Cheyron conducted his survey as an independent proffessional. The results are real and true,just swallow your pride and you are not a scientist.you are a layman in this field and there is nothing you can offer or explain whatsoever. You are just a manager who was handpicked in the streets when you were just a mere reporter and paladin employed you bcz of your romping, acrobatic ,corrupt and spying tactics.

  15. Mmodziyekha says:

    You cant finger point yourself and look now youre talking thrash and justification. its hightime justification you cant understand.enough is enough keep yourself venture up!Youre after monetary gain to risking .talking bra-bra without solid ground of reprove.

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