AUTHORHessler, Peter
TITLELetter from Colorado: The Uranium Widows
PERIODICAL TITLEThe New Yorker
DATE PUBLISHED2010
VOLUME NUMBERn/a
ISSUE NUMBERSeptember 13
PAGE NUMBERS30-37
ISSN0028-792X
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Available online from The New Yorker   (subscription required)


This article presents an interesting, controversial look at uranium mining in Colorado from the early twentieth century through World War II and the Cold War to the present (2010). Using interviews with residents in and near the town of Uravan, location of a proposed new uranium processing mill, the author focuses on the impacts of uranium mining and processing on the local economy and the health of residents and miners. Presenting a concise history of uranium mining in the area, the author links the fluctuating demand for uranium to the varying importance of nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants nationally. The debate surrounding acceptable levels of radiation is presented as well as the differing positions of locals and environmentalists on the proposed new processing mill.


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