Mining companies and government agencies hoped to build up our nuclear arsenal and, as an afterthought, create a free-energy utopia. Instead, the poorly regulated industry poisoned native communities and has suffered a decades-long boom-and-bust cycle. Much of the industry is on standby today, waiting for the next rise in uranium prices. Mines and mills sit unattended or with skeleton crews. Some are unsecured and abandoned. In former boomtowns, unemployed miners hope for work. Ben Mauk traveled more than 2,000 miles across the Colorado Plateau to report on the industry's environmental legacy and economic future.