Nuclear West Oral Histories
Since the advent of the development of nuclear technologies in the United States, the Great Basin region has been the home to a variety of nuclear projects such as uranium mining and milling in the four corners region, low-level nuclear waste storage in western Utah, nuclear weapons testing on the Nevada Test Site (NTS), and proposals for high-level nuclear waste storage in Utah and Nevada. These and other nuclear projects have resulted in significant impacts on the environmental and physical health of the American West, specifically the Great Basin region and its residents including down-winders from nuclear tests, and American Indians of various tribes whose lands are located on or near many of the project sites.
This project uses oral histories to fill in the gaps present in histories based on secondary texts (e.g., voter registration and census records, laws, newspaper articles, or community records). At times the voices of the people most affected by particular policies or events are not included in written accounts. Therefore, oral histories serve a unique role in the construction and our understanding of history. While they may connote subjectivity, they produce a more objective view of past (and sometimes contemporary) issues, events, and policies. Because they are more complete—that is, they include a variety of perspectives—oral histories contribute greatly to efforts of comprehensive understanding of issues such as nuclear waste siting or the Atomic West
Click on the name to access a transcript of their interview. These transcripts can also be found in the Everett L. Cooley Collection in the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah.