Longer trains speed Moab tailings removal

The use of additional rail cars is expected to accelerate a project to remove uranium mill tailings from a site near Moab, Utah.

The U.S. Department of Energy announced the change to train shipments from Moab to a disposal site near Crescent Junction about 30 miles to the north.

North Wind Portage, a contractor working on the project, joined with the Union Pacific Railroad to evaluate rail car positioning in loading and unloading areas.

While 144 containers previously were transported on a train, it was determined additional rail cars could be added to move an additional 24 containers each week.

That means an additional 815 tons of mill tailings and other contaminated materials can be moved each week.

“It is imperative that we recalibrate our thinking around innovation and creativity to continuously examine how we do business and strive to noticeably reduce the amount of tailings at Moab,” said Russell McCallister, federal cleanup director.