Tag Archives: uranium

Navajo Nation Plans to Deny Uranium Mining Company Permission to Transport Ore

28 May

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — A uranium mining company seeking a mineral lease on state land in northwestern Arizona could have a hard time transporting the ore off-site because of the Navajo Nation’s objections to an industry that left a legacy of death and disease among tribal members.The section of land in Coconino County is surrounded by the Navajo Nation’s Big Boquillas Ranch. The tribe has said it will not grant Wate Mining Company LLC permission to drive commercial trucks filled with chunks of uranium ore across its land to be processed at a milling site in Blanding, Utah.

The Navajo Nation was the site of extensive uranium mining for weapons during the Cold War. Although most of the physical hazards, including open mine shafts, have been fixed at hundreds of sites, concerns of radiation hazards remain.

The tribe banned uranium mining on its lands in 2005, and last year passed a law governing the transport of radioactive substances over its land. The ranch itself is not part of the reservation, although the Navajo Nation owns it.

“Given the (Navajo) Nation’s history with uranium mining, it is the nation’s intent to deny access to the land for the purpose of prospecting for or mining of uranium,” officials from the Navajo Department of Justice wrote in response to the mineral lease application.

Continue reading

In Arizona and Peru: Why Reform Won’t Work

1 May

Cross Posted from Root Force:

Indigneous Quechua-speakers in Peru have been at the forefront of the battle against Newmont Mining Corp's Minas Conga gold mine.

Indigneous Quechua-speakers in Peru have been at the forefront of the battle against Newmont Mining Corp’s Minas Conga gold mine.

Two recent news stories highlight the fundamental problem with directing reformist efforts at a global economic system that is founded on colonialism, genocide and extinction. While of course it’s important to use a diversity of tactics to achieve our goals, and while it’s important to recognize and celebrate even partial victories, these stories remind us how the system reacts when we achieve victories that actually threaten its ongoing profits:

• Despite a 2012 ban on hard-rock mining in a one million acre area surrounding the Grand Canyon, the uranium mining firm Energy Fuels Resources has been given federal approval to reopen its Canyon Mine. The rationale? The company’s “rights” to extract a poisonous fuel by destroying the Grand Canyon, the surrounding watershed, and indigenous territory predate the ban.

• In Peru, the government is rolling back a landmark indigenous rights law at the behest of mining companies. Under the new policy, mining companies no longer need to even consult with the vast majority of Peru’s indigenous peoples before proceeding with plans to destroy their land.

Continue reading

Nuclear warhead factory shut down by protests

19 Aug

Sister Megan Rice, center, 82, and Michael Walli, back waving, 63, were greeted by supporters when they arrived at Federal Court Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012 in Knoxville. The third protester Greg Boertje-Obed, 57, is still in custody and was brought by authorities from the Blounty County jail. (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

The Y-12 Uranium bomb-making plant was closed for two weeks after anti-nuke peace activists breached security and redecorated the place a bit last month.

On August 9, a federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment against the Y-12 protesters, consolidating the previous charges lodged against them and adding another felony count of “depredation” of government property, involving cutting, painting and defacing that resulted in damages exceeding $1,000.

Continue reading

Proposed Uranium Mining in Grand Canyon Region

12 Oct


Today GOP lawmakers led by Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) announced legislation that would open one million acres of public lands forming Grand Canyon National Park’s watershed to new uranium mining. The bill would overturn an existing moratorium on new mining and mining claims.

“It is unconscionable that Senator McCain and Representatives Flake and Franks are seeking to undermine protections for Grand Canyon and its watershed and showing so little regard for the people of Arizona, including all of those who expressed strong support for protecting these lands from uranium mining and the pollution it produces,” said Sandy Bahr, chapter director, Sierra Club – Grand Canyon Chapter.

The Grand Canyon and four corners region still suffer the pollution legacy of past mining. American Indian tribes in the region – Havasupai, Hualapai, Kaibab-Paiute, Navajo, and Hopi – have banned uranium mining on their lands. Water in Horn Creek, located in Grand Canyon National Park just below the old Orphan uranium mine, exhibits dissolved uranium concentrations over 10 times the health-based standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency for drinking water, while groundwater sumps below old mines north of Grand Canyon have measured dissolved uranium more than 1000 times allowable for drinking water standards.

“Neither mining corporations, lawmakers nor public agencies can guarantee that uranium mining wouldn’t further contaminate aquifers feeding Grand Canyon’s springs and creeks. Such pollution—as we see in Horn Creek today–would be impossible to clean up,” said Taylor McKinnon with the Center for Biological Diversity. “A decade ago Senator McCain was a defender of Grand Canyon. Today he’s one its greatest threats.”

Hundreds Protest to Shut Down Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant

22 Mar

In February 2010, the Vermont Senate voted 26 to 4 against re-licensing of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant after 2012, citing radioactive tritium leaks, misstatements in testimony by plant officials, a cooling tower collapse in 2007, and other problems. However, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has given approved for the plant to operate an additional 20 years. The plant sits directly on the Connecticut River.

Vernon, Vermont – March 21, 2011

Hundreds of protestors gathered outside the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant Sunday to show support for victims in Japan and to renew their call to shut the Vernon plant down.

“Nuclear power isn’t cheap and it isn’t safe. What’s going on in Japan illustrates that it is not safe. We are not exploiting that. That is just what’s reinforcing what we have been saying,” said Bob Bady with the group Safe and Green.

Officials at Yankee maintain the plants is safe and reliable to operate for another 20 years. And on Monday the Nuclear Regulatory Commission officially granted approval for Yankee to stay in business for another 20 years.

Adam Sullivan – WCAX News