Published on January 24th, 2008 | by Max Lindberg

Uranium Woes on Indian Nation Lands, an Interview with Marilyn Berlin Snell

marilyn-snell.jpgHow much do we really know about the damage done to lives and property by more than 50 years of uranium mining and milling in the Navajo and Hopi Indian Nations? I didn’t know very much until I read three articles by Marilyn Berlin Snell in the Sierra Club Magazine.

Marilyn was chief editor when she wrote the stories, Power Hungry, Gathering Clouds and Frontier Justice-in a Good Way. Wanting to know more, I picked up the phone and was honored with a few moments of her time.

She is a native Arizonan, her father ran the company that operates the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station west of Phoenix, AZ. It wasn’t until she left home that she decided to have a look at the facility her father managed.

I asked Marilyn how she felt after the visit… snell.mp3

Marilyn has since left the Sierra Club staff and ventured out on her own as a free-lance journalist. She has written for several important publications including the New York Times, Mother Jones, Harper’s, and the Los Angeles Times to name a few.

The Los Angeles Times article she referred to in the interview was actually a four-part series written by Judy Pasternak. This link will take you to that page. If you’d rather read them singley at your leisure, here are the links:

They Took Shelter Amid the Poison.

Oases in Navajo Desert Contained ‘A Witches Brew’

Navajo’s Desert Cleanup no More Than a Mirage.

Mining Firms Again Eyeing Navajo Land.

Also for your information, I found an excellent website devoted to uranium Decommissioning Projects in the United States. There is a wealth of information for those who are interested in the subject.

Finally, Marilyn referred us to projects underway at the Southwest Research and Information Center.

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About the Author

My home state is Illinois, and my hometown a little railroad/farming community named Galesburg.We lived on a small farm during my high school years and I became very aware of nature and it’s wonders. I loved the out of doors, working with animals, plowing fields and harvesting crops. Those were very good years.After a stint in the Army during the Korean war my broadcasting career took off at the local radio station, a 250 watt “teapot” as it was called in those days. My first job was as an engineer, then the ham came out and I became an announcer/newsman, graduating after several years to a larger market and a stint as a TV journalist/photographer. Cold, wet weather led me to the southwest where I’ve lived for most of the last 40 years, with a couple of years out to have fun working as a private investigator in San Francisco, and a few years working in Las Vegas hotels and casinos. In all, its been a real ride.After retiring a few years back I became fascinated with the efforts being made to find alternative energy sources. I’ve watched our environment deteriorate during my lifetime, and now it’s my chance to join the chorus of intelligent and caring individuals making a difference one day at a time.

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