Today’s edition of The New Yorker has a fascinating article by Peter Hessler about the history and legacy of mining radiocative materials in southwestern Colorado and its possible revival. Though the article covers Colorado’s Western Slope and discusses the former town of Uravan (where much of the Manhattan Project’s materials were mined, and which has since been buried, literally, as a Superfund site) and its former residents, there are clear implications closer to home: Cotter Corporation has kept their license to mill and process yellow cake uranium at their facility in Canon City and may resume operations as early as 2014. While you might expect this article to come down on the side of environmentalists and their concerns, Hessler presents a far more complex picture of the benefits and drawbacks of Uranium and Vanadium mining at a time when renewed interest in nuclear energy could mean a revival of the industry throughout southern Colorado.

You’ll have to get a copy of the Sept. 13 edition of The New Yorker to read the article until it’s posted online, but you can read the abstract HERE.

Many thanks to reader Tom K. for bringing this article to our attention!

 

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