New Trump Nuclear Plan Favors Uranium Mining Bordering Grand Canyon

"The administration, seeking to restore America’s “competitive nuclear advantage,” also wants to create a $150 million uranium reserve in the coming decade."

"Evergreen forests blanket the Grand Canyon's less traveled northern plateau, and the perfume of Ponderosa pine drifts down a creekbed to the bottom of the great redrock canyon. Downstream, the strangely blue waters of the Little Colorado River meet the main Colorado, coming from the southern plateau close to sacred places for indigenous people who have lived here for centuries.

Both plateaus are also where mining companies want to unearth uranium. Mining those claims has been barred since 2012, when Congress imposed a 20-year mining ban across 1,000 acres here because past uranium extraction has polluted drinking water and poisoned the air and the ground. Local tribes and environmental groups that sought the temporary ban have been pressing Congress to make the ban permanent.

But in a sweeping plan to revive the domestic uranium mining industry unveiled Thursday, the Trump administration proposed instead to open the scenic and sacred areas once again in the name of economic vitality and national security. Allowing more uranium mining on federal lands is just one of the suggestions that emerged from an eight-month review by the White House Nuclear Fuel Working Group."

Judy Fahys reports for InsideClimate News April 26, 2020.

Source: InsideClimate News, 04/27/2020