Clean energy’s dirty secret: the pond in China filled with toxic leftovers

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The mining and processing of Earth Elements in northern China has caused years of toxic leaking into surrounding water sources.

A tailings pond lies on the west of the Chinese city Baotou, one filled with a black grey sludge of toxic and radioactive material.

It is the by-product of rare earth processing – elements vital to solar energy, wind farms and other alternative energy sources. It is open to the air but worse it is seeping into the ground below, poisoning the water.

Sky’s China Correspondent Tom Cheshire was followed when he tried to gather more information.

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