Church Rock remembered

Church Rock

On this week’s Nuclear Hotseat, Libbe HaLevy replays interviews with individuals affected by the July 16, 1979 Church Rock uranium mill disaster. On that day, the Navajo Nation suffered the worst radioactive materials spill in US history — 90-million gallons of uranium mining waste and eleven hundred tons of solid mill waste that burst through a broken uranium mill dam wall and flowed into the Puerco River. The spill permanently contaminated land and water, devastating the health of the Diné people. These interviews are from the 40th anniversary of this disaster, which occurred only four months after the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident, on a day that is also the anniversary of the 1945 Trinity test of the first atomic bomb. Hear from a miner who was on site the day of the disaster; survivors and their descendents.

Linda Pentz Gunter’s Hot Story also relates the devastating events at Church Rock on that day and the challenges and threats still faced by the community today as they confront the menace of potential new uranium mines nearby.


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