Uranium in The Sahtu – The Nuclear Renaissance

Global energy reserves in the form of uranium are estimated at massive to virtually limitless. Expensive, high-tech reactors have reasonable lifetimes and depleted uranium quantities are relatively limited considering the amount of electricity that can be produced. The horror stories of Chernobyl, the fallout, cancers and deformities still ravaging the peoples of that area have created a highly sensitized public. Yet through all this I for one had never paid much thought to the uranium production process. A well made 2007 Global TV documentary, that I came across while trying to fathom a political ecology of Yellowknife (see below) shed some light on it for me.

Interestingly, the name given to the Eldorado/Port Radium mines by the Sahtu Dene of Déline was Somba Ke:

“What is not widely known is that Fat Man and Little Boy could not have melted sections of Japan if Canada had not poisoned swaths of Denendeh first . . . ” (http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2006/stainsby031206.html)

And I couldn’t have put it better my self. The film goes through allegations of mismanagement and wasteful and needlessly expensive studies by the government and private industry to try and convince the people of the Sahtu that there cancers were caused by smoking, not uranium.

Here are some related links worth exploring:


http://tlicho.ling.uvic.ca/users/main.aspx –  We could all use more Dogrib in our lives

http://explorenorth.com/library/mining/nwt-contaminated_sites.html – Interested in visiting the NWT, how about a tour of contaminated sites!

Not your typical 'environmental tourism'.


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