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The Uranium Atlas tells the global story of uranium through maps, graphics and narratives covering every phase of the uranium fuel chain. The raw material of the Atomic Age was or is mostly mined in African countries, Australia, Kazakhstan and Canada, and the consequences for the inhabitants of these mining areas have been fatal from the very beginning. The victims of global nuclear colonialism are mostly Indigenous peoples whose voices remain unheard.
July 16 is seared in the memory of New Mexicans: On July 16, 1945, at 5:30 in the morning, scientists from Los Alamos detonated Trinity, the first atomic bomb, in the White Sands desert. Only July 16, 1979, at 5:30 in the morning, the tailings dam of the Church Rock uranium mill broke, contaminating the drinking water of the Dine people.
We dedicate the launch of the Uranium Atlas to all the victims of July 16.
The international guests participating in this event are: Makoma Lekalakala (Earthlife Africa, South Africa), Ian Zabarte (Western Shoshone Nation, USA), Sascha Hach (Nuclear Free Future Foundation), and Anna Randon (Navajo Nation, USA). There will be additional recorded statements from Tina Cordova (Trinity Downwinders, USA) and Larry King (Navajo Nation, USA).
Despite the disastrous consequences of mining, arms testing and nuclear disasters, Europe, with 124 nuclear reactors, remains the world’s largest consumer of uranium, while North America is home to another 114 reactors. Not even the economic fiasco of new reactors has been able to sufficiently weaken the nuclear lobby. Uranium mining continues and could be expanded in North America and elsewhere. Meanwhile, radioactive waste – 350,000 tonnes worldwide – keeps piling up with no safe place to go. These and every aspect of uranium’s use – and misuse – are highlighted in the Uranium Atlas and will be presented during the event, which will include a question and answer session with the audience.