Longtime Native American allies of the anti-nuclear movement, Indigenous Environmental Network and Honor the Earth, have issued an urgent call for solidarity (including an appeal for human rights observers from the UN, NGOs, churches, etc.) in their struggle against yet another dirty, dangerous, and expensive energy industry -- the so-called Dakota Access Pipeline for pumping Bakken crude oil, targeted at the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's land on the Missouri River in North Dakota. Environmental groups have long stood in solidarity with traditional indigenous peoples to successfully block high-level radioactive waste dumps targeted at the Skull Valley Goshutes Indian Reservation in Utah, Western Shoshone Indian land at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and many other Native lands across the U.S., as well as to resist uranium mining on Native lands (including in the Dakotas) and beyond. We must again now stand with our environmental justice allies in their time of escalating crisis -- as local, state, and even federal governmental and law enforcement agencies are unnecessarily increasing the tension, and safety risks, in an attempt to disperse a peaceful, growing encampment of many hundreds of Native Americans (including women, children, and elders), who have gathered to protect sacred land and water against an illegal, polluting, and dangerous crude oil pipeline. More
Native American land has been targeted for decades for uranium mining and, more recently, for radioactive waste dumps. Native Americans have disproportionately been affected by the serious health consequences from uranium mining and have struggled for compensation and restitution. The Navajo Tribe has now banned uranium mining on their land.
November 20th marked the end of a rushed, "going-through-the motions" Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), a thinly veiled attempt to revive the cancelled Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste dump in Nevada.
NRC didn't even bother to provide advance notice to the affected Indian tribes downstream from the targeted site, let alone consult with them in a government-to-government manner, as is the agency's legal obligation. But at least NRC is consistent: it didn't provide any funding to the tribes, either, placing an extraordinary burden on the tribal nations to meet the arbitrarily-short deadline. In this regard, NRC's SDEIS public comment proceeding itself was a violation of environmental justice (EJ), not to mention the agency's biased push to bury 70,000 metric tons, or more, of high-level radioactive waste on indigenous land, guaranteed to leak into the precious, even sacred, drinking water supply.
Despite NRC's own EJ violations, the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe and the Native Community Action Council met the deadline, with powerful comments. They thereby continued a tradition of protecting Yucca Mountain, and its groundwater, that dates back not just years or decades, but centuries and millenia, to time immemorial. More.
July 16th marks two dark Atomic Age anniversaries in New Mexico of national and even global significance. It's 70 years since "Trinity," the world's first atom bomb explosion, at Alamogordo, NM -- the Manhattan Project "test" for Nagasaki to follow three weeks later. And it's 36 years since one of the worst (and least known) radioactivity disasters in U.S. history, the massive uranium tailings dam release at Church Rock, NM. Ninety million gallons of liquid radioactive waste, and eleven hundred tons of solid mill wastes, spilled into the Rio Puerco River, vital source of drinking and livestock grazing water for Navajo communities downstream.
But resistance to nuclear weapons and nuclear power remains strong in the "Land of Enchantment," despite decades of ongoing radioactive abuses. For example, Diné No Nukes of New Mexico will join with S.A.N.S. and Nuclear Energy Information Service to celebrate a successful fundraiser for their collaborative "Radiation Monitoring Project," purchasing detectors to be used in Navajo country, still contaminated from decades of uranium mining and milling.
And Downwinders and nuclear weapons watchdog groups, including Beyond Nuclear's Alliance for Nuclear Accountability coalition partners Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, Nuclear Watch New Mexico and Southwest Research Information Center are not only commemorating "Trinity." They continue their decades-long efforts, such as watchdogging the "Birthplace of the Bomb," Los Alamos National Lab; resisting nuclear weaponeers' attempt to keep their omnicidal trade going for decades to come, at unthinkable expense; opposing threatened in situ uranium mining; and outing the truth about the 2014 radioactivity leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, NM, to name but a few of their ongoing campaigns.
URANIUM? LEAVE IT IN THE GROUND!
-A Film Screening & Discussion About Uranium Mining-
@ Busboys & Poets (5th & K)
1025 5th St. NW Washington, DC 20001
Metro: Gallery Place/Chinatown
Join the discussion with experts and activists fighting the Nuclear Fuel Chain from Cradle to Grave. What can we learn from the history and what is at stake with uranium at this moment?
Film: The River That Harms
(Dir. Colleen Keane, 45 mins, 1987, United States)
This film documents the largest radioactive waste spill in U.S. history - a national tragedy that occurred on Diné (Navajo) lands that received little attention. With the sound of a thunderclap, 94 million gallons of radioactive waste broke through a United Nuclear Corporation storage dam in 1979 and poured into New Mexico’s Puerco River, the main water supply for the Diné people and a tributary of the major source of water for Los Angeles, California. To the Diné people, this event impacted their lands, their health and their economy and sends a prophetic warning for all humanity.
Co-sponsored by: Beyond Nuclear, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Diné No Nukes, S.A.N.S., and Physicians for Social Responsibility.
As reported by the Sarnia Observer, the Mayor of Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, Mike Bradley (photo, left), has declared victory in a years-long campaign to block the shipment of radioactive steam generators, by boat on the Great Lakes, from Bruce Nuclear Generating Station in Kincardine, Ontario, across the Pacific, to Sweden.
“It's a real testament to citizen power,” said Bradley, who has been a vocal critic of the move, along with a growing list of Ontario mayors, coalition groups, environmental activists, and U.S. Senators. “We're fighting a very large and powerful organization.”
First Nations, including the Mohawks, as well as hundreds of municipalities in Quebec representing millions of citizens along the targeted shipment route, made the difference for the resistance.
Kay Cumbow, the nuclear power watchdog in Michigan who first discovered the risky shipping scheme through her research, then warned and activated others, has said "Thanks to everyone who wrote letters, signed petitions and helped get the word out about the dangers of this scheme that would have put the Great Lakes at risk, endangered workers as well as communities enroute, and would have put radioactive materials into the global recycled metal supply."
Maude Barlow, national chairwoman of the Council of Canadians, was quoted by the Ottawa Citizen: "This is a huge victory for communities around the Great Lakes...The Great Lakes belong to everyone and communities have a right to say 'no' to any projects that will harm them."
As indicated by Mayor Bradley in a separate Sarnia Observer article, the next big fight against "nuclear madness" brewing at Bruce involves proposals by Ontario Power Generation, the Canadian Nuclear Waste Management Organization, and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to bury all of Ontario's so-called "low" and "intermediate" level radioactive wastes -- from 20 atomic reactors across the province -- within a mile of the Lake Huron shoreline. Several communities near Bruce, largely populated by Bruce nuclear workers and in effect company towns, have also volunteered to be considered for a national Canadian high-level radioactive waste dump (for 22 reactors). Ojibwe First Nations, whose land the Bruce Nuclear site is built upon, have expressed grave concerns about the proposed DUDs.