The Salt Lake Tribune published an editorial on January 11, 2011 opining that the EPA’s cleanup of Navajo backyards ought to be a “teachable moment” for the future of nuclear energy. The Tribune’s editorial board wrote:
[The EPA’s ongoing cleanup] is the least the nation can do to repay the area’s residents for the sacrifice they, unwittingly, made for the development, first of America’s atomic weapons program, then of its drive for nuclear energy. It is a process that should also be useful in designing the next round of environmental protection standards and protocols, one that might make all the suffering felt, and all the money now spent, at Oljato unnecessary at the next such project.
As the demands for energy grow across the West, there will doubtless be more uranium mines, more debris and tailings to dispose of, even as other projects such as the dreamed-of liberation of so-called tar sands and traditional old-energy oil and gas searches also despoil the land.
In the ‘40s, we now tell ourselves, we didn’t know how dangerous this stuff was, how we could have protected ourselves and our offspring from it, how we could have avoided poisoning entire towns for thousands of years just to extract a few years’ worth of energy.
Read the full editorial on their website.