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Radioactive Deposits

Dresden-Gittersee, 2019

This project refers to Dresden’s history of uranium. From 1947 to 1961 the Wismut company in Dresden-Gittersee extracted natural uranium from Freital coal and Schlema ore in a uranium processing facility. Uranium extraction was continued for another thirty years under GDR leadership. They flushed radioactive remains onto open slag heaps and via the Kaitzbach downstream to the Dresden area and into the Elbe. In Dresden-Gittersee, therefore, new sealing layers and neutralizers were developed. Beginning in 1993, the municipal, state, and federal governments jointly invested around 45.5 million euros in the seventy-two-hectare site to remove radioactively contaminated soil, to encapsulate it in slag heaps, and to redesign the terrain into a commercial zone and recreational area close to the city. Leading companies have meanwhile set up shop on the former site of the uranium processing facility.

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