Editorial: The uranium threat to the Navajo Nation
"It is alarming that the nuclear power industry is talking about resuming uranium mining near a Navajo reservation. A mining company has applied for permits for a new mine on privately owned land in New Mexico just outside the reservation’s formal boundaries but within what is commonly known as Navajo Indian Country. Regulators must not allow this to proceed until the enormous damage inflicted by past mining operations has been fully addressed.

Residents of the Navajo Nation are haunted by radiation threats from more than a thousand gaping mine sites abandoned after the cold war arms race. After decades of uranium mining — and accumulating evidence of spikes of cancer and other diseases — mining companies walked away from their cleanup responsibilities.

The federal government has also shamefully failed its tribal trust obligation to deal with what Representative Henry Waxman has aptly termed “an American tragedy.”

The government must finally honor its obligation to seal the mines and deal with their myriad dangers. Talk of opening even one new mine — which could, of course, lead to others — adds grave insult to the severe injury already done."

Get the Story:
Editorial: The Cold War Threat to the Navajo (The New York Times 2/12)
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Relevant Links:
Navajo Nation - http://www.navajo.org
Eastern Navajo Dine Against Uranium Mining - http://www.endaum.org

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