Controversy Heats Up in Southern Utah Over Nuke Testing

Controversy Heats Up in Southern Utah Over Nuke Testing

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John Hollenhorst reporting Controversy, and even anger, is beginning to heat up in Southwestern Utah over the possible resumption of nuclear weapons testing in nearby Nevada.

Many Utahns believe their families paid a terrible price from cancer... caused by earlier nuclear test explosions.

President Bush has not announced a decision to go ahead with new tests. But he's making moves in that direction.

Many Utahns remember very well the test explosions in the 1950's and 60's.

In fact, many went up on mountaintops, just so they could watch the blasts... like a big fireworks show.

Later, when radioactive fallout was recognized as a health threat, many Utahns came to believe their families' cancers were directly caused by the fallout.

Lois Iverson of St. George maintains a bulletin board and photo display devoted to her lost loved ones.

Her husband and a son died of cancer last year. Another son died of cancer in 1985. She believes all of their deaths were caused by the nuclear tests many years before.

Lois Iverson/St. George Resident "Well it makes me angry enough, I don't want them to do it again we haven't done anything wrong. Why should we be guinea pigs for them?"

Iverson attended a town hall meeting this weekend organized by Congressman Jim Matheson. He introduced a bill this week that would force the government to do safety and health studies before conducting future test explosions.

Many of those who came to the hearing are convinced the government lied about safety in the 1950's... and might do it again, in the name of national security.

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