Offbeat | Virtual reality used to highlight uranium contamination

Activists are using virtual reality technology to focus on areas of the Navajo Nation affected by uranium contamination.
The arts collective Bombshelltoe has collected 360-degree footage of land near Churchrock, New Mexico, to show how people and the land have changed since a 1979 uranium mill spill, the Gallup Independent reports .
The film, titled “Ways of Knowing,” was directed by artist Kayla Briet.
The project started four years ago after Washington, D.C.-based nuclear policy program manager Lovely Umayam met Navajo activist Sunny Dooley at an event in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Filmmaker Adriel Luis is also a co-producer of the movie.
“Sunny asked us during this meeting, ‘Where is your heart?’ And it caught my – along with everyone else’s – attention,” Umayam said.
In 1979, a dam on the Navajo Nation near Church Rock broke at a uranium mill’s evaporation pond, releasing 94 million gallons of radioactive waste into the Puerco River.
It was the largest accidental release of radioactive material in United States history and three times the radiation released at the Three Mile Island accident.
The radiation contaminated not only water but the food chain. Cattle in western New Mexico later showed higher levels of radiation.

Categories World