Aileen H. Clyde 20th Century Women's Legacy Archive: Nuclear technology oral histories, ACCN 0814

Nuclear technology oral history project, ACCN 0814

The nuclear technology oral history project is part of the Everett L. Cooley oral history collection, ACCN 0814

Bullcreek (b. 1946) is a member of the Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians. She talks about her upbringing, family life, and her identity as a traditionalist American Indian. One of the major opponents of the plan to store nuclear waste on her reservation, she describes her activism since 1992. Bullcreek also explains the concept of environmental justice, discusses the dynamics of inter-tribal decision making, and talks about the organizations of which she is a member.

Larson Bill (b. 1948) is a Western Shoshone who was born in Ely, Nevada. Nuclear issues are something that have always been in the background of his life because of how they had affected Western Shoshone People. Julie Cavanaugh-Bill (b. 1967) describes her Iowa background, role models, her involvement with Native American and nuclear issues. She talks about her interest in human rights and her experience as a lawyer before moving to Nevada to work with the Western Shoshone Defense Project.

Dann was born at the homestead in Crescent Valley, Nevada in the 1930s. She discusses her background, upbringing, and ethical principles. She talks about her time as an activist, particularly with regard to nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site and the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository. She describes her role in the debate over nuclear waste, who is affected by nuclear waste disposal, and who is responsible. She also talks about her role in fighting for sovereignty.

Dickson (b. 1955) was born in Joplin, Missouri. She moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, as a child. Dickson discusses her experiences being diagnosed with thyroid cancer before the age of 30 and losing a sister to cancer. She believes that both her and her sister's illnesses were caused by exposure to nuclear fallout while living in Salt Lake. As an activist and playwright, Dickson works to increase awareness of the harm done to human health and the environment by governmental nuclear tests.

Kotra (b. 1955) of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission discusses the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste disposal site.Dr. Kotra was born in Tacoma Park, Maryland, received a PhD from the University of Maryland. Most of the interview deals with the function and history of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She discusses the NRC’s duties and the commission’s commitment to working with stakeholders, including Native American tribal governments.

Townsend was born in Owyhee, Nevada, and currently lives on the Duckwater Western Shoshone Reservation. She recalls the many Western Shoshone people who have died of cancers and discusses how this lead her to work on the NUKERISK project to assess radiation doses in American Indian populations from nuclear testing. She describes her role in the NUKERISK project. Townsend also briefly discusses the role she played in the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste controversy.

Treichel was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She discusses her background, upbringing and ethical influences. She began working on nuclear testing issues, but shifted to nuclear waste in the late 1980s, when Yucca Mountain became the sole contender for a national nuclear waste repository. Treichel describes her position on the Nevada Nuclear Waste Task Force. She then discusses the nuclear waste siting process, the problems with nuclear waste, and potential solutions to nuclear waste.

Viereck was born in Plymouth, New Hampshire in 1952. Working with Shoshone leader and nuclear activist Corbin Harney, she gravitated to nuclear issues surrounding Yucca Mountain. She discusses her focus on scientific data, including water testing near Yucca Mountain. The interview concludes as Viereck describes how her work is largely turning toward educating people about the potential harm of exposure to radiation in medical tests.

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