Tailings cleanup passes 9 million ton milestone

A project to move and store a massive pile of uranium mill tailings along the Colorado River near Moab, Utah, has passed another milestone. The Department of Energy reported that 9 million tons of tailings have been moved from Moab and shipped 30 miles to a disposal site near Crescent Junction, Utah. That’s 56 percent the estimated 16 million tons of tailings.

As of Feb. 21, site employees had worked more than 500 days without a work-related, lost-time injury or illness.

The mill tailings are left over from a uranium ore processing facility. The tailings are transported by rail in sealed metal containers to Crescent Junction. The tailings are placed in a Nuclear Regulatory Commission-approved disposal cell near Crescent Junction and capped with a 9-foot-thick, multi-layered cover of native soils and rock.