A History of scandals
Here are links and descriptions of the largest nuclear mining disasters
in the U.S.
The Biggest U.S. Uranium Mining Disasters
| The Uranium Mining issue is a subset of the even
bigger environmental disaster facing the western U.S. As a result
of the infamous 1872 Mining Act, private speculators have been able
to obtain the mineral rights of federal lands, most of which are
still under dispute by Tribal Communities. These speculators have
been able to pay pennies on the dollar to mine for uranium and other
minerals, extracting the minerals only to abandon the mines afterwords.
Today there are estimates of up to 130,000 abandoned mines in the
western U.S. There are thousands of abandoned Uranium mines that
have contaminated the water with radiation and other heavy metals
that have yet to be cleaned up. The DOE and other federal agencies
had been given the job of cleaning up abandoned mines and mills.
This is from Chapter 9 of Havey Wasserman's book. It covers the
largest nuclear tailings spill in history at Church Rock, New Mexico.
, would seem an improbable spot for a nuclear disaster. A dusty
cluster of industrial machinery set in the arid mesas of the great
Southwest, its most distinguishing feature might be considered a
large pond of murky liquid, unusual in such dry terrain. Church
Rock also hosts a series of underground uranium mine shafts, a mill,
and a scattered community of Navajo families who survive by herding
cattle, goats, and sheep.
In the 1950s and 1960s, an estimated 300,000 tons of uranium mill
tailings from the Climax mill were used in construction as a sand
substitute or for backfill material at various sites throughout
the Grand Junction and Mesa County area. Uranium mill tailings were
used on private residences, schools, churches, and commercial locations
(streets and sidewalks). The State of Colorado, the Government was
responsible for 75 percent and the State 25 percent of the remediation
Between 1951 and 1970, 300,000 tons of tailings were given away
to the public, to be used in nearly 5,000 structures. More than
$900 million was spent on the cleanup by the 1990's...
This is the L.A. Times multi-series documentary of the Dineh people
and the impacts that yellowcake has had on them. The photo-slideshow
is worth watching.
prove he is sick enough to deserve the federal compensation promised
to former uranium miners such as himself, 86-year-old Ross Williams
must take a lung-function test.The problem is, Williams and some
others like him are too sick to complete the required test. With
measured breath, he explains in his native Navajo language what
has happened each time he has tried to take it.
The pick of the most censored issues today comes by way of First
Voices Indigenous Radio in New York. It is titled, "America's
Secret Chernobyl." The Defenders of the Black Hills tell of
uranium mining and nuclear pollution in North Dakota, South Dakota,
Wyoming and Montana.Uranium mining in South Dakota was one of the
great concerns of the late Anna Mae Aquash before her death. Anna
Mae's body was discovered in the Badlands, S.D., on Feb. 24, 1976.
The DOE" Moab Utah Uranium Mill Tailings cleanup project is
one of the most sensitive environmental projects facing this country.
The Atlas Mill site is situated on the west bank of the Colorado
River, encompasses 439 acres, of which approximately 130 acres is
covered by uranium mill tailings.
This is one of the best investigative reports of uranium mining,
with dozens of articles about the controversial Cotter uranium mill
and mining operations in Colorado!
This report provides information for 26 former uranium-ore processing
sites and a brief history of the production of uranium for sale
to the Federal Government under the early 1940s through 1970 procurement
programs. Contamination at the mill sites resulted from the chemical
processing of ore to produce uranium concentrate. The report documents
the history and costs ($1.4 billion in DOE monies) of the sites.
First Nation tribal governments representing 500,000 people filed
a $100 billion lawsuit against the U.S. for having lost all of
the last 100 years of mineral royalities it had been charged with
overseeing. On August 15th, 2008 the federal Judge claimed those
royalties were only worth $455 million.
Spanish Tailings Dam Failure