Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

A rush for uranium

May 14, 2008, 11:08 am

Thanks to renewed interest in nuclear power, the United States is on the verge of a uranium mining boom, and nowhere is the hurry to stake claims more pronounced than in the districts flanking the Grand Canyon's storied sandstone cliffs.

On public lands within five miles of Grand Canyon National Park, there are more than 1,100 uranium claims, compared with just 10 in January 2003, according to data from the Department of the Interior.

In recent months, the uranium rush has spawned a clash as epic as the canyon's 18-mile chasm, with both sides claiming to be working for the good of the planet.