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Navajo times. [volume] (Window Rock, Ariz.) 1960-1984, October 01, 1960, Image 11

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85047513/1960-10-01/ed-1/seq-11/

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PHS Critical
of No Report
WASHINGTON A report filed
with United States Public Health
Servict officials here this week
is highly critical of the failure
of personnel at the Shiprock urani
um mill for failing to report the
break in two ‘ailings ponds on
Aug. 22
The break resulted in the dis
charge of 20,000 gallons of highly
organic raffinate being accident -
ally realeased into the San Juan
River, in the Upper Colorado
watershed. The toxicity, or poison,
in the raffinate kille d“large num
bers of fish in the San Juan river
. . at least 60 miles or so down
stream” from the Shiprock ura
nium mill *''following the release
of the raffinate to the Kerr-Mc-
Kee mill,” the USPHS report stat
ed. The amount of radium in the
accidental discharge did not re
sult in “serious overexposure” to
human beings, although the max
imum permissible concentration
of radium in the river was pro
bably exceeded for a brief time,
according to the USPHS report.
The report was written by Dr.
E. C. Tsivoglou of the USPHS
Taft Sanitary Enginering Center
spot survey of the mill-pond break
in th e Shiprock area early in
September and tests carried on
at the Taft Center. He wrote the
report on Sept. 23 and then sub
mitted it to USPHS officials in
Washington. The report was made
available for press inspection on
Sept. 30.
As a result of the failure of
the Shiprock officials to report
the mill-pond breaks, the accident
will be taken up and fully dis
cussed at the next interstate en
forcement conference on the Colo
rado river basin. This conference
will be held early neyt year at a
city not yet designated in a Colo
rado basin state.
The USPHS report stated: “It
has been vertified both by this
(UHSPH office and by personnel
©f the division of compliance to
the Atomic Energy Commission
that the (Shiprock) mill manage
ment did not report the release”
•f waste from two tailings ponds
as a result of a break in a tail
ings pond wall “to any official or
unofficial agency. . . Neither AEC,
• USPHS, the state of New Mexico,
nor the San Juan County Health!
Department were notified, nor
were any of the downstream water
plant operators. First reports of
a fish kill appeared in the Far
mington Daily Times on Aug. 27
and 28, some five days following
the release. Individual observers
noted dead fish beginning on Aug.
23.” the USPHS report stated.
It is estimated that about 250,-
000 gallons of mill waste were
released. “The waste was an or
ganic refinate, highly acid, and
similar to that produced in the |
VCA plant at Durango . '. .Its j
radioactivity and radium contents
v wgmßßUuummm
SERVICE AND PfePEMPAROUTY
•>
FOR OVER 70 YEARS
4
FLAGSTAFF • WINSLOW
HOLSROOK • WILLIAMS
PAGE • GRAND CANYON
AND RESERVATION TRADING POSTS
are presently being determined,”
the report said, USPHS and AEC
experts think that about 300 mi
i crocuries of Radium 226 were re-
I leased in the San Juan river. A
i microcurie is one millionth of a
j curie. A curie is u measure of
1 radioactivity. The radioactivity of
! radium is a curie. In addition.
! an unknown quantity of Thorium
1232 was released into the river, i
| The accidental relase may have
contaminated the water supply of j
the helium plant just below the
1 mill, Mexican Hat, Utah, Indians
1 on the Navajo reservation living
along the river using water out
of the San Juan at the time the
effluent from the mill was pass
ing by.
The report established for cer
tain that the fish kill and the
radioaction in the river wene not
due to rains, releases in irriga
tion water or to reported dyna
miting. Both were caused because
of the breaks in the tailings pond
wall and the relase of the waste
into the river.
“Even though no serious hu
man radiation exposure apparent-
Ily occurred, th e amount that did
occur was undesirable. Other ef
| fluents also contain more radium
1 226 at times. Should such releas
es occur in the future, it seems
imperative* that the nuclear plant
should undertake ot promptly noti
fy responsible AEC and public
health officials. Failing it is
not inconceivable that more ser
ious incidents may occur in the
future. It appears highly desir
able that this be brought to the
attention of JSe nuclear industry
to assure their more prompt fu
ture cooperation,” the USPHS re
port stated.
“This particular type of inci
dent is not completely uncom
mon,” it went on. It has occurred
elsewhere, for example, twice at
the old Naturita mill, not present
ly operating. It occurs generally
because the tailings pond walls
art not compacted or otherwise
protected frpm failure and usual
ly because too much liquor is
sent into the ponds. In view of
this it seems quite necessary that
the several (uranium) mills of the
Colorado river basin undertake to
quickly determine practical meth
ods of preventing this typ e of in
cident and place these methods in
operation at their respective mills.
“Otherwise,” the report conclu-j
ded, “it appears that such fail-j
ures of tailings pond walls can
be expected to occur in the fu
ture” The USPHS report suggest
de that USPPHS officials ask of
ficials of the Division of Licens-1
ing and Regulation of AEC “to
assist in finding answers and sol
utions” of these problems.
Window Rock
4-H Reorganized 1
Thirty-four boys and girls have
signed up for the 1961 4-H Club
year at Window Rock.
They are taking projects in sew
ing, cooking, leather craft, lamb,
calf, garden, electricity and ento
mology.
Officer elected were —Dorothy
Mineer, President: Ron Land
bloom, Vice-President, Nancy
Martin, Secretary-Treasurer; Su-!
san Gross, Reporter; and Larry'
Nelson, Recreation Leader.
Members of the Window Rock
Club made a good record in 1960.
They won ribbons in Sta'e County
and local contests.
Local leaders for this club are
Katheryn McCabe, Gladvs Tabor,
Deane Mineer, Dee Hicks, Paul
Krause, O. N. Hicks, Harold Mine
er and Murray Leslie.
Livestock Sales .
All the people in the Chinle
area will be interested to know
that they can sell the ; r sheep,
cows, horses and goats at the
Chinle Rodeo Grounds from Octo
bes 15 through October 23. The
prices are going to be compar
able to Phoenix market and will
be all cash.
Navajo Stockmen j
Again, this is going to be a.
bad winter for the Navajo stock-1
man. Range feed is scarce over i
most of the Reservation and live
stock prices are down. With the i
extreme shortage of feed, the Na-,
vajo stockman shoold sell all of
his old animals and keep what
feed there is for his o 'ceding
stock. He should tell his neigh
bors and friends to do the same.
1 " n— ll
VOTE DEMOCRATIC
IN NOVEMBER Bth
GENERAL ELECTION
ATTEND
DISTRICT 16 NAVAJO
DEMOCRATIC
RALLY
OCTOBER 22nd
CHURCH ROCK SCHOOL
12:30 P.M.
MEET AND HEAR
SENATOR CLINTON ANDERSON
GOVERNOR JOHN BURROUGHS
CONGRESSMAN TOM MORRIS
CONGRESSMAN JOE M. MONTOYA
SECRETARY OF STATE BETTY FIORINA j
Paid for by District 16 Navajo Demo Party I
■■■ l,>ri *
October, 1960 THE NAVAJO TIMES
Annual Leupp
Cattle Sale
The annual Leupp Cattle Sale
was held this month at the Sun-j
rise Trading Post corrals. Four
buyers outbid eight others to buy
225 head of Navajo - grown cattle
for $22,872.78. The sale exceeded
erpectations with 79 Navajos
bringing livestock from as far
away as Indian Wells in district 7.
Shown below is a breakdown of
the livestock sold:
74 Heavy Steers
46,025 lbs. at $20.00 per cwt sold
to Southwtst Livestock Co., Phoe
nix. 4
6# Steer calves
20,285 lbs. at t>er cwt sold
BILL BAUM
& ASSOCIATES
GENERAL CONTRACTORS, INC.
NEW MEXICO AND ARIZONA
East Hiway 66-P.O. Box 231
Phone UN 3-4882
GALLUP, NEW MEXICO
Dirt Moving Ditch Digging
Plumbing and Heating se wer Construction
Kran R r al VTT « ■
Plastering Sand Natural Gas Installation
Bukdono Construction Cut Rock
jamnnr -
to Vern Hatch - Snowflake, Aria.
6 Heifer calves
2.355 lbs. at $18.50 per cwt sold
to - Phoenix.
35 Yearling steers
16,020 lbs. at $21.10 per cwt sold
to Foss Flak e - Snowflake, Aria.
31 Cows
26,052 lbs. at $11.90 per cwt sold
to the Double 7 Corp. - Phoenix.
2 Bolls
2,770 lbs. at $17.50 per cwt. sold
to Foss Flake • Snowflake, Aria.
6 Bulls
4,975 lbs. at $14.90 per cwt. sold
to the Double 7 Corp. • Phoenix,
Anna! CMtiUWltp Page 12
PAGE 11

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