Mining, Uranium

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  • Western states have been endowed with significant uranium resources, and uranium mining plays a significant role in western states’ economic development and natural resources policy. The post–World War II emergence of nuclear weapons and increased demand for nuclear power produced the establishment of the Atomic Energy Commission, which was charged with promoting the nuclear industry and uranium mining. This mining occurred in various western states, including the Four Corners Region, Colorado's Rocky Flats, Washington's Hanford Reservation, and other locales (see below).

    While this mining resulted in significant production output, technological advances, and economic development gains, it also produced adverse public health consequences for miners and adjacent populations in the form of increased cancer and leukemia. This resulted in court cases in which Navajo Indians and other ...

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