The Navajo Nation covers 27,000 square miles.
Here lies the world's largest deposit of uranium ore, leetso.
Navajo men jumped at the chance for work.
Unburdened by regulations the mines operated for 40 years.
By the 1980s, decreased demand closed the mines.
Thousands of open mines & dumps were left on the reservation.
Miners had loaded millions of tons of ore into open rail cars.
They wore no protection masks or clothing.
They ate lunches in holes choked with radioactive dust.
They drank water that would have triggered a Geiger counter.
They staggered home to wives who washed their filthy overalls.
The dying started in the 1960s.
"They never told us it would kill us".
They scraped radioactive ore to fuel the Cold War.
The conflict never turned hot but it has killed 400 miners.
Declassified documents show the government knew the danger from the start.
The danger was concealed from the miners and their families.
Congress apologized for failing to protect the miners.
Lung cancer is a torturous death. Breathing is agony.
Congress ordered payments up to $100,000 to the miners.
"The government destroyed this community".