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Toxic uranium spill still affecting Navajo in New Mexico

People still remember, in part because of lingering illnesses they attribute to the spill,…People got compensated quickly at Three Mile Island – around here, I don’t think anyone got compensated for anything,

Uranium spill elicits traditional approach,  Indian Country Today By Carol Berry,  Oct 19, 2010 CHURCH ROCK, N.M. – About 10 miles north of this predominantly Navajo community, Highway 566 transects Red Water Pond Road, which is blocked at the entrance to an abandoned United Nuclear Corp. mine site from which nearly 1 million gallons of toxic wastewater spilled into the nearby Puerco River 31 years ago.
Residents of this high desert mesa country of northwestern New Mexico remember the event they have designated the Church Rock Uranium Tailings Spill, caused when a dam was breached at a UNC/General Electric uranium mill tailings disposal pond and toxic wastewater and 1,100 tons of radioactive tailings poured into the river, which flows through Gallup, N.M. and on to Holbrook and Winslow, Ariz.

People still remember, in part because of lingering illnesses they attribute to the spill,……. “This spill happened about three months after the Three Mile Island (Pennsylvania nuclear generating station partial meltdown) event,” recalled Larry King, of Church Rock and a former worker at the UNC mine.

“That got more coverage than this. People got compensated quickly at Three Mile Island – around here, I don’t think anyone got compensated for anything, and that’s what we’re still addressing to our legislature, our elected officials – that we need long-term water and soil sampling done in this area, as well as health studies of people who live along the wash.”….the federal stance on the potential health effects of the spill is “wild – everybody and his grandma knows this stuff causes so much harm, but they keep saying it isn’t carcinogenic,”

Uranium spill elicits traditional approach | Indian Country Today | Southwest

October 19, 2010 - Posted by | indigenous issues, Uranium, USA | , , , , , , , , ,

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