Anti-Mining Activists Join Navajo Nation In Uranium Fight
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Albuquerque Journal--The Associated Press
GALLUP- Activists are fighting the possibility of increased uranium mining on the Navajo reservation.
The McKinley Community Health Alliance, which held a forum Monday on the history of uranium mining in the area, cited the 1979 collapse of an earthen dam at a United Nuclear Corporation settling pond in Church Rock that released 94 million gallons of radioactive wastewater and 1,100 tons of uranium tailings.
Alliance representative Jana Gunnell said people in the area need to say no to uranium companies now, "so that we're not in a position to say, 'Oh no, not again".
Uranium brings in more than $50 per pound now, and companies are pursuing new mine locations, including the Colorado Plateau and the eastern part of the Navajo Nation.
Eastern Navajo Dine Against Uranium Mining has raised concerns about possible ground water pollution at proposed sites near Church Rock and Crownpoint, where Hydro Resources Inc. wants to inject chemicals into the ground to release uranium and pump the solution to the surface in a process called in situ leaching.
The anti-mining group, which has been fighting the plans for more than a decade, is concerned about how in situ mining might affect an aquifer that supplies drinking water to 15,000 people.
Mansel Nelson, program coordinator for Northern Arizona University's Environmental Education Outreach Program, said the process does not produce the piles of uranium tailings debris of conventional mining and keeps miners safer because they don't have to go underground.
However, Nelson said that there's a danger dissolved uranium might seep out of the mine area. And he said companies' records in cleaning up in situ sites is not encouraging.
Chris Shuey, director of uranium impact assessment for the Albuquerque-based Southwest Research and Information Center, said there are few lasting gains from the past uranium mining booms.
Decades after mining in the 1950s and 1960s, hundreds of abandoned mines have not been restored and thousands of reservation residents are still waiting on compensation claims, he said.
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INL SEEKS COMMENTS ON PROPOSED EXPLOSIVES TEST SITE
Submitted by Eleanore Fanire
By Dan Boyd –Idaho State Journal Writer
ARCO — The Idaho National Laboratory plans to increase its weapons-testing capabilities by adding a new National Security Test Range. The new facility would add space for explosives detection, detonation and other testing in addition to an existing firing range currently used for security training.
Department of Energy spokesman Tim Jackson said the explosives tested at the new range would be non-nuclear and would pose no radioactive hazard. The facility — about 640,000 square feet in size — would be located on a remote part of the northern portion of the INL site, about seven miles from the nearest building.
“The larger explosions would be heard along Highway 33 and they might see a dust cloud, but people driving down the highway won’t be able to feel the testing,” Jackson said. He added that various national security customers will use the facility, which will be surrounded by an earthen berm.
“Results from these tests will benefit the national, local and state governments, as well as the private sector,” Jackson said. “This is about gathering data to better protect buildings and infrastructure from explosive devices.”
The INL has a long history of national security testing and currently employs nearly 100 cyber security and infrastructure protection experts who develop tools and conduct high level testing. Although Jackson assured the testing will be non-nuclear, other similar test sites have sparked controversy.
The so-called “Divine Strake” test using 700 tons of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil to test current capabilities to destroy underground targets was scheduled for June 2 in Nevada, but was eventually delayed after a massive public outcry. Area residents particularly feared radioactive elements left over from atomic bomb tests at the same site in the 1950s and 1960s could have been sent skyward in a trajectory toward Idaho.
A 30-day public comment period to formally offer input on the new INL test range proposal began Tuesday and continues through Oct. 27. The draft environmental assessment can be examined by going to www.id.doe.gov and clicking on “laboratory programs.”
ACTIVISTS TO SPEAK AT COLORADO SCHOOL OF MINES
Western Shoshone grandmother Carrie Dann and Julie Fishel, WesternShoshone Defense Project will speak at the Colorado School of Mines on the action between the spiritual area, Mt. Tenabo, and Mining Conflicts that should have been avoided.
The event is set for Thursday, Oct. 12, 2006, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO - Center for Technology and Learning Media, 17th & Cheyenne St.
Western Shoshone Defense Project
P.O. Box 211308
Crescent Valley, NV 89821
CARRIE DANN TO SPEAK AT 'THINK OUTSIDE THE BOMB' CONFERENCE
Submitted by the Western Shoshone Defense Project
From October 20-22, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation will team up with various partner NGOs to host the second “Think Outside the Bomb” conference at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The conference will bring together high school students, college students, recent college alumni, and young non-profit professionals from throughout the western United States for a series of participatory discussion panels, workshops, and skills trainings on building a nuclear-free world. You are advised to apply now at – http://www.thinkoutsidethebomb.org/
Travel vouchers are available to out-of-town attendees. Lodging will be provided free of charge for most participants. Free food will be provided for all, throughout the course of the weekend.
The threat of a nuclear holocaust is one of the most urgent challenges facing our generation. In recent years, the crises in Iran, Iraq, and North Korea have underscored the ongoing centrality of nuclear weapons in the global political order. Yet, the greatest power to lead the world toward nuclear disarmament rests right here, at home, where the United States maintains a stockpile of over 10,000 nuclear weapons and currently spends more money to develop new weapons of mass destruction than any other nation.
Stopping the construction of new nuclear power plants, ending the exploitation of the nuclear fuel cycle, achieving the demilitarization of our schools and communities, and opposing the US wars in the Middle East are all intimately connected with the cause of nuclear. Nuclear weapons are not created in a vacuum. Nor will they be abolished in one.
The “Think Outside the Bomb” conference will provide a backdrop for a rich exchange of ideas between participants regarding nuclear issues. Attendees will leave the conference buzzing with new insights, knowledge, and inspiration, as well as an array of organizing resources and practical hands-on skills to empower them to do the day-to-day work of creating a more peaceful and secure planet.
For more information on the “Think Outside the Bomb” Conference at UCSB, please visit www.thinkoutsidethebomb.org.
“Think Outside the Bomb” Conference at Pace University, New York City - November 4-5.
LENAPE NATION RALLIES FOR JUSTICE
Submitted by Anthony Jay Van Dunk
Tribal Chief – email@example.com
The Ramapough Lenape Indian Nation is organizing a protest set for Friday, October 13th at 12 noon at 10 Main Street, Hackensack, New Jersey in the demand for Justice for the death of Emil Mann and the unfair prosecution of Otis and Katlin Mann.
A press conference and peaceful demonstration will be held on the Courthouse steps with drummers, singers, speakers, friends and allies of the Native people.
Sign making for the demonstration will begin at 5 p.m. on Wednesday evening, October 11th at the Ramapough Lenape Indian Center, 189 Stag Hill Rd, Mahwah, New Jersey. Sign materials, bottled water and donations are needed.
Participants to the protest are asked to bring paper/cardboard signs or cloth banners.
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