New Mexico’s long history of uranium mining on Native American lands provides fuel for the front end of the nuclear industry and stores much of the mine tailings and radioactive waste from nuclear weapons and power plants. DemocracyNow! looks at the devastating impact uranium mining continues to have on Native lands with Leona Morgan of Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining, a group dedicated to protecting the water, air, land and health of communities in areas impacted by uranium mines.Also joining the discussion is Jay Coghlan of Nuclear Watch New Mexico and former Los Alamos National Laboratory investigator Chuck Montaño.
AMY GOODMAN: We’re broadcasting from Los Alamos, New Mexico, the state home to the Navajo Nation. For decades, they’ve fought uranium mining on their land. Despite a mining moratorium on tribal property, the company Hydro Resources, Inc., is seeking approval to mine near the towns of Crown Point and Church Rock. Uranium has been mined here for more than 50 years, and the impact is still felt. The land is dotted with contaminated tailings, hundreds of abandoned mines that are still not cleaned up. Meanwhile, Navajos have suffered from high cancer rates and respiratory problems.
For more, we’re joined by Leona Morgan, a coordinator with the Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining—their mission: to protect the water, air, land and health of communities in areas impacted by uranium mines.
Leona, welcome to Democracy Now! We’re talking about the dawn of the Nuclear Age. We’re broadcasting from Fuller Lodge. It’s where the scientists first came in 1943, part of the secret Manhattan Project, to develop an atomic bomb. Talk about where you come from and how that, in 1943, relates to you.