Thursday, May 14, 2009

Moving of Moab uranium tailings from Colorado River is underway

The official ribbon cutting for the Moab tailings removal project was held on May 4, although trains began hauling the uranium waste from the Colorado River floodplain a week earlier. The 16 million tons of tailings are being hauled 30 miles away to be buried in a permanent home.

The tailings are remains from the Atlas mill that processed uranium during the Cold War of the 1950-60s. But sitting on the banks of the Colorado River raised concerns about contamination and erosion or even collapse of the pile during flooding.

[top right, view of tailings pile, looking south over the Colorado River and the Moab Valley. Credit, DOE; lower left, excavating tailings to load onto train cars. Credit Energy Solutions]

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