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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.

Harvey Wasserman: The Church Rock Disaster

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.

Grand Junction Mill Tailings Disaster

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 cost. 1996 GAO Report

Junction Daily Blog: Grand Junction Tailings History

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...

Los Angeles Times: Navaho Nation: Blighted Homeland

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.

Rocky Mountain News Special: Radiation Victims National Compensation Scandal

To 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.

CENSORED: Dakota Region: America's Secret Chernobyl

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.

Moab, Utah, Mill Tailings Cleanup

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.

Uranium Mining: Cotter at the Crossroads

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!

Nuclear Decommissioning - U.S. Uranium Mill Tailings map

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. Cobell Lawsuit Coverage

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

Chronology of Worldwide

Tailings Dam Failures


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