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Resource ID: #23010
Subject: Environment
Source: Los Angeles Times
Affiliation: 
Date: 11/19/2006; 11/20/2006; 11/21/2006; 11/22/2006

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Description

During the Cold War, the federal government, seeking to increase its nuclear arsenal, mined uranium on a Navajo reservation that spanned parts of Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, with 3.9 million tons of uranium ore chiseled and blasted from the mountains between 1944 to 1986. Fifty years after a medical journal noted an almost complete lack of cancer on the reservation, that mining left a mark that still persists today. The L.A. Times finds that "groundwater is contaminated, gray mine wastes cascade down hillsides and erosion exposes once-buried radiation at reclaimed mines and illegal dump sites." Some Navajos have suffered from lung and breast cancer, attributable to the harsh conditions created by the mining. Now uranium is once again rising in price, and mining companies are preparing to move in again, this time with new technology. But still with environmental consequences.

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