On July 16, 1979, a dam burst near Church Rock, New Mexico, carrying miles of radioactive uranium mill tailings down the Rio Puerco. Hundreds of head of cattle, thousands of head of sheep died. The Dine (Navajo) people are still dying from it (cancer has a latency period, so it doesn't kill people right away, therefore individual cancer cases are hard to prove in court). Rain along the Rio Puerco often has a metallic taste to it, a sign that the radioactivity is still there, otherwise being odorless and tasteless. July 16th is also the anniversary of the explosion of the first above ground nuclear test, in Alamagordo, NM.
There have been newspaper and magazine articles about the disaster and its effects. Here are four of them.Navajo Times
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