CGTN America Releases Navajo Nation: A Toxic Nuclear Legacy
During the hot summer days as a child, Hood and his three siblings cooled off in water flowing from a pipe – unaware that it was radioactive sewage. As an adult, she mined uranium. In 2006, doctors diagnosed her with lymphoma, a form of cancer.
June 03, 2021
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CGTN America publishes “Navajo Nation: A Toxic Nuclear Legacy”.
You could say that the nuclear age has begun on the lands of the Navajo Nation. The uranium mined here provided the first American atomic bombs. On July 16, 1945 – the day of the world’s first nuclear explosion, codenamed “Trinity” – the Navajo were among the tribal nations downwind of the fallout. Decades later, on the exact same day, July 16, the worst nuclear spill in U.S. history occurred in Church Rock, New Mexico, on this reserve.
The Navajo people helped create the nuclear age. Seventy-five years after Trinity, they are still paying a heavy price. CGTN America traveled to the Navajo Nation where correspondent Xu Dezhi met tribal member Edith Hood who epitomizes her nation’s tragic nuclear legacy. During the hot summer days as a child, Hood and his three siblings cooled off in water flowing from a pipe – unaware that it was radioactive sewage. As an adult, she mined uranium. In 2006, doctors diagnosed her with lymphoma, a form of cancer.
Among Navajo people living near uranium deposits and factories, doctors have documented rates of stomach cancer 200 times higher than the average for American women between the ages of 20 and 40.
Edith Hood’s niece Angie moved her family from their home near one of the contaminated sites. But uranium is hard to escape. One study found uranium dust in 85 percent of homes tested for its presence. Everyone in these houses had uranium in their bodies.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, there are more than 520 abandoned uranium mines (AUM) on land the Navajo consider sacred. This year, the EPA awarded contracts worth $ 220 million to clean up just 50. As CGTN America reports, AUMs will remain a curse for generations to come. According to some estimates, making them all safe “will take 100 years.”
For now, Hood and many of his Navajo comrades are faced with a difficult choice: to stay and preserve a way of life, or to save lives by leaving their home in a strikingly beautiful, but contaminated landscape.
Click here to learn more about Navajo Nation: A Toxic Nuclear Legacy: https://newsus.cgtn.com/news/2021-05-30/The-forgotten-radioactive-waste-in-the-Navajo-Nation-10FKJbm0PoA / index .html
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