Australian news, and some related international items

Evil monster from underground – Navajo land and people poisoned by uranium mining

Cleanup takes on uranium monster in Monument Valley, By Judy Fahys, The Salt Lake Tribune,  Oct 16, 2011  Monument Valley • An old story tells how the first Navajos made a choice that shaped their destiny.

They embraced yellow corn pollen over yellow uranium. And they concluded unearthing the radioactive rock would unleash evil from the underworld.

But in the rush to fuel atomic weapons and nuclear reactors, Navajo lands yielded tons of the yellow rock, and the heavy machinery that dug it up left behind a hazardous legacy.

Here, below the Skyline Mine, about a mile from the famous Goulding’s Trading Post, the Navajos’ worst fears about uranium came true. Tumors and cancer and a host of other maladies plagued families living on the valley floor in Skyline’s shadow. So did a nagging fear.

In some people’s minds, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cleanup this summer signaled the federal government has at long last started owning up to its obligations to the Navajos. Next week dump trucks and dozers will be done stuffing the evil back into the redrock.

And the unseen demons will be vanquished from the mythic landscape……

The $7.5 million Skyline cleanup is part of EPA’s effort to address uranium problems all over the reservation. About $22 million is slated for addressing water contamination. A total of $60 million is planned for five years to identify and deal with contaminated homes and mine sites.

The Skyline cleanup is the first of four that EPA has planned so far,…..

A few weeks ago, Tenley announced the next cleanup on the reservation: a $44 million project to address contamination at the largest uranium mine on the Navajo Reservation, Northeast Church Rock, New Mexico. And, unlike the Skyline cleanup that taxpayers paid for, this one will be on the tab of the company that mined it, a subsidiary of General Electric Co….

October 16, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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