The Unholy Nuclear Trinity – Energy, Weapons & Waste – Indigenous Impacts

EON’s Mary Beth Brangan and Jim Heddle interview Acoma Pueblo elder Petuuche Gilbert at one of the over 500 abandonded uranium mines that continue to contaminate Navajo tribal lands in New Mexico. Photo by: Libbe HaLevy

Joined At the Hips

Since their conjoined birth in the 1945 Trinity Test in the New Mexico desert that began the Atomic Age, nuclear energy, weapons and waste have been inextricably connected.

Long denied by government and industry sources, that inseparable connection has now been cited by former US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and other nuclear enthusiasts, as a prime rationale for keeping America’s deadly and dying nuclear industry going.

They argue that only by subsidizing a dangerous, obsolete and uneconomic ‘civil’ nuclear energy program, and its trained labor pool and industrial infrastructure, can the US maintain its ‘global nuclear leadership’ and ‘weapons superiority.’

EON’s work has been tracking that lethal connection for decades.

This year – as we have done in many years past – we were honored by Tri-Valley CARE’s Director Marylia Kelly to document the annual Hiroshima Day rally and non-violent direct action at the gate of Livermore Lab, a key node in America’s new nuclear arms race system.

U of C Runs California’s Nuclear Bomb Shop

As a preview, here is a clip of the keynote speaker Daniel Ellsberg, with additional powerful speakers to come soon in the series, as well as a report on the march and demonstration.

SHUTDOWN The Movie – Coming Soon

We are charging toward completion early next year of our forthcoming feature-length documentary SHUTDOWN – which explores the importance of informed citizen action in the face of America’s growing nuclear waste challenge, as aging nuclear reactors are shuttered with nowhere for their tons of accumulated lethal waste to go and the Age of Nuclear Waste begins in earnest.

Please visit for more information.

Don’t Dump on the Southwest!

A national push (by Senator Feinstein, among others) is building for ‘temporary’ Consolidated Interim Storage (CIS) sites for the nation’s entire inventory of reactor waste that targets low-income, Hispanic and Indigenous communities in New Mexico and Texas.  We were able to travel to a recent conference in New Mexico to bring their informed, opposing voices to a wider audience.

Here’s a clip from a recent Environmental Justice Panel in Albuquerque featuring Santa Clarita Pueblo downwinder, Tina Cordova, Co-founder of the New Mexico community organization Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium (TBDC).  She tells of the devastating health impacts of the Atomic Age on her people.
The devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has been widely acknowledged, yet it was America’s own people and original inhabitants, the Indigenous Peoples of the southwest, who had the actual first atomic bomb dropped in their land.

The world’s first atomic bomb was detonated on July 16, 1945, in New Mexico—home to 19 American Indian pueblos, two Apache tribes and some chapters of the Navajo Nation. Manhattan Project scientists exploded the device containing six kilograms of plutonium 239 on a 100-foot tower at the Trinity Site in the Jornada del Muerto (Journey of Death) Valley at what is now the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range.  At the time an estimated 19,000 people lived within a 50-mile radius.

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