Saskatchewan uranium mine's costly legacy

National
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Fifty years after the Gunnar uranium mine and mill on the north shore of Lake Athabasca ceased operating, Saskatchewan is faced with huge environmental liabilities.
Photograph by: HO: Cameco

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Fifty years after the Gunnar uranium mine and mill on the north shore of Lake Athabasca ceased operating, Saskatchewan is faced with huge environmental liabilities.

Driven by a government of Canada decision to supply uranium to the United States Atomic Energy Commission for military purposes, uranium ore was mined and milled at the Gunnar site from 1955 to 1963.

All the Gunnar uranium was sold for the manufacture of nuclear weapons. 

However, the haunting legacy of Gunnar doesn't stop there. The area around the site remains badly polluted from mining and milling operations. Minimal decommissioning took place when the operation closed down, and the cost of cleanup is now an ongoing burden to Saskatchewan taxpayers.

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