The battle to save White Mesa

White Mesa Mill_NRC

The White Mesa Uranium Mill in Utah (pictured) is being allowed to process radioactive waste material from around the United States and as far away as Canada, Europe and Japan. There are plans in place for the mine to accept materials going back 77 years to the start of the Manhattan Project. The move is being opposed by several environmental groups, including those linked to the Grand Canyon, and is a focus for protests from the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe.

On this week’s Nuclear Hotseat, host Libbe HaLevy speaks with Sarah Fields, Program Director of Uranium Watch, who has worked on uranium and other nuclear issues for over 20 years.

Particularly impacted by these nuclear intentions are members of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, with lands adjacent to the mine and a water supply from an aquifer that sits below the mine. They are holding their annual Spiritual Walk and Protest on Saturday, October 22. To learn more about it, Libbe spoke with Yolanda Badback, a member of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and the group, White Mesa Concerned Community.

And in this week’s Hot Story, as the 60th anniversary of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis approaches, Linda Pentz Gunter of Beyond Nuclear notes the recent statement by US President Biden: “We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” and explores the implications of the current rhetoric. Biden was referring to the possibility that Russia might use nuclear weapons against Ukraine, and remembering the 13 tense days in October 1962 that brought the US and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear war.


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