AUTHORAlvarez, Robert
TITLEUranium Mining and the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Program
PERIODICAL TITLEThe Public Interest Report
DATE PUBLISHEDNovember 2013
VOLUME NUMBER66
ISSUE NUMBER4
PAGE NUMBERSn/a
ISSNn/a
Web Access
Available online from Federation of American Scientists


This article addresses the plight of the Navajos working in the highly radioactive environment of the uranium mines on the Colorado Plateau from 1940 through 1971. They were critical in producing uranium for the U.S. nuclear weapons program. The author describes the U.S. government’s failure to recognize and prevent a growing epidemic of lung cancers among the miners in the 1960s and its efforts to avoid compensating them for the effects of radiation exposure. Pressured by the miners and their families, Congress finally passed the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act in 1990 and the more sweeping Energy Employment Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act in 2000. The article is supported by extensive footnotes. It appears in The Journal for Science and Security published online by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS).



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