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, 97 (9), 1595-600

The Sequoyah Corporation Fuels Release and the Church Rock Spill: Unpublicized Nuclear Releases in American Indian Communities

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The Sequoyah Corporation Fuels Release and the Church Rock Spill: Unpublicized Nuclear Releases in American Indian Communities

Doug Brugge et al. Am J Public Health.

Abstract

The Three Mile Island nuclear release exemplifies why there is public and policy interest in the high-technology, highly visible end of the nuclear cycle. The environmental and health consequences of the early steps in the cycle--mining, milling, and processing of uranium ore--may be less appreciated. We examined 2 large unintended acute releases of uranium--at Kerr McGee's Sequoyah Fuels Corporation in Oklahoma and United Nuclear Corporation's Church Rock uranium mill in New Mexico, which were incidents with comparable magnitude to the Three Mile Island release. We urge exploration of whether there is limited national interest and concern for the primarily rural, low-income, and American Indian communities affected by these releases. More attention should be given to the early stages of the nuclear cycle and their impacts on health and the environment.

Figures

FIGURE 1—
FIGURE 1—
The breach of the dam at Church Rock, NM, in 1979. Source. Photograph courtesy of Southwest Research and Information Center.

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