Uranium Miners Want PR Push

With the Australian government supporting plans by BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto for a major expansion of uranium mining, a recently released report proposes a major PR campaign to counter public concern. The Uranium Industry Framework report, written by a mining industry dominated group, notes that a majority of the Australian public oppose the establishment of additional uranium mines. One recommendation was for a "multi-faceted communications strategy to ensure the delivery of objective information" about the industry. But elsewhere the committee complains that public disclosure of the details of accidents "perhaps hinders the public's understanding of the actual level of risk." The industry's reluctance to disclose details of accidents, it goes on to claim, "has been consistently misrepresented by its opponents as secretive." Two years ago a government report described a "culture of complacency" at one mine where workers fell ill after showering in and drinking radioactive water.