Thursday, October 7, 2010

Kolontar. Could it happen in Ireland?

Following the disaster in Kolontar, Hungary where a million cubic metres of toxic red sludge, a by-product of the refining of bauxite into alumina, escaped from a storage lagoon when its earth bund failed engulfing a 42 square kilometre area.  Efforts are underway to minimize the effects of the waste on the River Danube. Apart from being a huge human tragedy, this accident could prove to be one of the most serious river pollution episodes in recent history.  This has raised worries about the condition of mine waste storage lagoons in Ireland, where the encasement bunds have not been well maintained.

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