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Uranium Mining

Uranium mining is necessary to provide the "fuel" for nuclear reactors (and also to make nuclear weapons). Historically, uranium mining has been carried out on land occupied by indigenous people - who have often also comprised the work force, and who have suffered the health and environmental consequences. High-grade uranium is a finite resource, therefore disqualifying nuclear power from consideration as renewable energy.

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Wednesday
Oct282009

Native American uranium miners still suffering health effects

Native American uranium mine workers and their families are still suffering the sometimes deadly health effects of uranium mining even as corporations push to open new mines. In These Times took a look at the problem while attending the recent Indigenous Uranium Forum at Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico.

Wednesday
Sep232009

Arizona tribes ban uranium mining

The Hualapai Tribe has renewed a ban on uranium mining on its land near the Grand Canyon, reports the Associated Press. The Hualapai join other Native American tribes in opposing what they see as a threat to their environment and their culture. The tribal ban adds to a temporary mining ban on nearly 1 million federally owned acres around the Grand Canyon.

Tuesday
Jul282009

Grand Canyon protected from uranium mining, for now

In just the past couple years, an incredible 8,000 uranium mining claims have targeted the Grand Canyon, but the Obama administration's interior secretary, Ken Salazar, announced this week a "two year hold" on new hard rock uranium mining claims over a million acre area near this National Park. The Havasupai Tribe, the "People of the Blue Green Water" inhabiting a particularly stunningly beautiful side canyon downstream from a proposed uranium mine, are holding a rally at a sacred site this weekend to protest against uranium mining in the Grand Canyon. Environmental Working Group first raised the alarm about proposed uranium mining near the Grand Canyon over two years ago.

Sunday
Jul122009

Church Rock proposed mine site is on Indian land, court agrees

On April 17, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver upheld a decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that an approved in-situ leach (ISL) uranium recovery operation in New Mexico was on Indian Land. Hydro Resurces Inc. had challenged a 2007 EPA decision that the proposed ISL facility was on Indian Land, thereby placing the injection wells under EPA jurisdiction. Hydro Resources has already received a license to operate from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The NRC decision is under appeal in federal court. The community has opposed the underground mobilization of uranium and other hazardous elements that would result from the ISL operation, because of the closeness of the projects to sources of drinking water for the Navajo communities in Church Rock and Crownpoint. The ruling resolves an important jurisdictional issue and would apply to other proposed ISLs in the vicinity of tribal lands. For more on this and other uranium issues, see the Uranium Watch Web site.

Sunday
Jul122009

Uranium mining and human rights

Wherever uranium has been mined, health problems, disease, death and environmental degradation has followed. From the Navajo Nation to Niger, indigenous people have most often endured these hardships. Today, the Navajo in New Mexico are struggling to ensure that the 2005 ban on uranium mining on their land is respected and upheld. The Havasupai are attempting to block uranium mining that will contaminate the pristine waters of the Grand Canyon. The nomadic Touareg in Niger are literally fighting to stop further exploitation of their Sahara Desert environment on which they depend for subsistence. These struggles and more - in Australia, Canada, Argentina, Namibia and elsewhere - have repeated themselves over the decades and threaten to get worse as nuclear corporations attempt not to exploit climate change by pushing for new uranium mines across the globe. Read or download our new brochure. And read and download the spring 2009 issue of The Thunderbird - covering uranium mining.

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