Sharing a moment of silence and statements at each of the commemoration events, the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium and the Red Water Pond Road Community Association on the Navajo Nation will experience their loss, offer healing prayers, and provide community education about the first atomic bomb test at the Trinity Test Site in 1945 and the largest liquid uranium tailings spill in the U.S. that flowed into the Rio Puerco in 1979.
Both events happened July 16 in New Mexico. This is the first time the groups have shared a moment of silence and statements supporting their work for restorative justice for the people harmed by both tragedies. The public is invited to participate in the events. For more information, visit nuclearactive.org.
July 16, 1979, an earthen uranium tailings dam at the United Nuclear Corporation Church Rock Uranium Mill failed and released 1,000 tons of solid radioactive uranium mill waste and more than 90 million gallons of acidic and radioactive liquids into the Rio Puerco. It contributed to the long-term contamination already present in the watershed from the release of untreated or poorly treated uranium mine water.
Saturday, July 16, the Red Water Pond Road Community Association will host the 37th Annual Commemoration of the North East Church Rock Uranium Tailings Spill, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., 12 miles north of Red Rock State Park on N.M. 566. There will be a walk to the spill site to offer healing prayers, food, speeches, a silent auction and community education. See more at nuclearactive.org.