‘Ready to fight’: how a Russian uranium ban would threaten Native American tribes – by Annette McGivney (The Guardian – March 28, 2022)


Sacred Native American sites such as the Grand Canyon and Bears Ears may seem a long way from the devastation unfolding in Ukraine. But as the US mulls a ban on Russian uranium, part of economic levers to stop Putin’s war, Indigenous communities living near US mines could pay the price.

John Barrasso, a senator from Wyoming, recently introduced a bill that calls for a ban on all forms of uranium imported from Russia. Uranium fuels America’s nuclear power plants, and about 20% of that comes from Russia, while close to another 30% is imported from the Russian allies of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Such a ban would shift American uranium production into overdrive. In an editorial in the Casper Star Tribune, Barrasso pointed out that the US has “vast uranium resources”, including in Wyoming, but 90% of the uranium used in nuclear power plants is imported.

“Rather than letting our uranium sit in the ground, we ought to use it,” he wrote. A longtime advocate of the uranium industry, Barrasso also wrote that continuing to buy Russian uranium was funding “Putin’s killing machine”.

For the rest of this article: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/mar/28/native-americans-ban-russian-uranium