The work is unfolding as global instability and growing demand drive uranium prices higher


The largest uranium producer in the United States is ramping up work just south of Grand Canyon National Park on a long-contested project that largely has sat dormant since the 1980s.

The work is unfolding as global instability and growing demand drive uranium prices higher.

The Biden administration and dozens of other countries have pledged to triple the capacity of nuclear power worldwide in their battle against climate change, ensuring uranium will remain a key commodity for decades as the government offers incentives for developing the next generation of nuclear reactors and new policies take aim at Russia’s influence over the supply chain.

But as the U.S. pursues its nuclear power potential, environmentalists and Native American leaders remain fearful of the consequences for communities near mining and milling sites in the West and are demanding better regulatory oversight.

Producers say uranium production today is different than decades ago when the country was racing to build up its nuclear arsenal. Those efforts during World War II and the Cold War left a legacy of death, disease and contamination on the Navajo Nation and in other communities across the country, making any new development of the ore a hard pill to swallow for many.

read more: https://ictnews.org/news/uranium-is-being-mined-near-the-grand-canyon-as-prices-soar

    • treeOP
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      19 days ago

      You should probably read a book about how uranium mining has historically devastated native communities, especially in the Southwest, but start here. And I don’t know who gave you the authority to give “passes”, I would probably avoid using that kind of language.

      “They never told us uranium was dangerous. We washed our faces in it. We drank in it. We ate in it. It was sweet,” explained Cecilia Joe, an 85-year-old Navajo woman, in a recent interview. Joe’s experience illustrates the under-researched but extremely pervasive problem of environmental injustice on Native American reservations.

      Due to decades of harmful environmental policy and exploitation by private companies, Native communities have been disproportionately subjected to toxic waste, pollution and other health risks — leading to what some activists describe as “environmental genocide.” Out of all the ethnic groups in the United States, Native Americans are the most at risk of toxic exposure, a fact that reflects broader realities about the continued oppression of Native communities and has galvanized Native activists into seeking justice.

      While the word “reservation” may invoke ideas of protection or sanctuary, historically, Native American reservations have systematically been targeted as sites for toxic waste disposal, and the U.S. government has historically been indifferent towards this. Companies “hoping to take advantage of the devastating chronic unemployment, pervasive poverty, and sovereign status of Indian nations” offer millions of dollars to Native American tribes in exchange for the ability to dispose of toxic waste, according to Bradley Angel in a report for the environmental organization Greenpeace.

      read more: https://bpr.studentorg.berkeley.edu/2021/07/10/the-lasting-harms-of-toxic-exposure-in-native-american-communities/

      They still haven’t even cleaned up the past Uranium mines they used and poisoned people and the land with.

      more info: https://cleanupthemines.org/

      two book options: Wastelanding: Legacies of Uranium Mining in Navajo Country, Yellow Dirt: An American Story of a Poisoned Land and a People Betrayed

      • combat_brandonism [they/them]
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        819 days ago

        that sucks and US uranium mining blows, but it’s important to remember that it’s a feature of white supremacist capitalism, not uranium. fossil fuel and rare earth extraction and development in the west has all the same stories of harm to the marginalized

        • blobjim [he/him]
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          519 days ago

          It’s not like there’s an “indigenous-people-friendly” form of extraction. In Bolivia there has even been contention between indigenous groups and the indigenous-led (I think?) government over proposed resource extraction projects.

          • combat_brandonism [they/them]
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            319 days ago

            It’s not like there’s an “indigenous-people-friendly” form of extraction.

            Eh this feels strongly like an ‘easier to imagine the end of the world’ take, there are better and worse forms of and places for extraction. And I’m sure that contention in Bolivia is preferable to the brutal conditions people faced under the short-lived western-backed christofash regime a few years back.

            That doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Another example is succdem AMLO doing an extractive colonial rail infra project in Chiapas. Hopefully through pushback those slightly less shitty guvmints will do better, and if not be replaced by one that does.

            • blobjim [he/him]
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              419 days ago

              I think it’s naive to think you can do resource extraction without the negative effects of it. That just isn’t something that exists. You have to tear up massive amounts of land using massive amounts of energy.

    • HexBroke [any, comrade/them]
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      419 days ago

      Americans should shut the fuck up about nuclear power until it’s cheaper than renewables + hydro storage, until the US can actually build any nuclear plants, and until nuclear plants can be delivered anywhere near as fast enough as we need

      • FumpyAer [any, comrade/them]
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        19 days ago

        The US’s refusal to build and maintain infrastructure isn’t indicative of the state of the rest of the world. Any conversion away from fossil fuels anywhere in the world benefits the whole world because we all live in the same greenhouse.

        Renewables are better for sure, and that should be prioritized. But all avenues to save the climate must be followed.