October 19, 2022
The Energy Fuels uranium mill and waste cells at White Mesa, Utah. (Photo credit: Bruce Gordon\Ecoflight)

White Mesa Uranium Mill Spiritual Walk and Protest This Weekend

Activists from the Ute Mountain Ute tribe in White Mesa, Utah is leading a rally and spiritual walk this Saturday. They’re protesting a radioactive waste dump and other activities at a nearby uranium mill.

By Clark Adomaitis

The White Mesa Uranium Mill, run by Energy Fuels Inc, is the only active uranium mill in the US.

The Ute Mountain Ute tribe have long protested the mill. Among the greatest concerns is that the mill receives toxic, radioactive waste from other manufacturing processes, for long term storage.

But regulators have found that storage efforts are inadequate. Contaminants from storage ponds have been detected in nearby groundwater. And the company has failed to contain the release of carcinogens into the air, by improperly storing radioactive cells.

Residents at White Mesa have other concerns too. Here’s Michael Badback who says there have been changes to his water supply–changes he believes are due to activities at the mill.

Michael Badback: When we run our water in the morning you can smell the minerals and it's really bad. It smells like boiled eggs that have been burnt.

This demonstration continues the decades-long fight by tribal members to push for the mill to be permanently closed. The walk starts on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at the White Mesa Community Center.

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