(Grand Junction, CO) ― Today, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that 6 million tons of uranium mill tailings have been shipped from Moab, Utah, under the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project to an engineered disposal cell near Crescent Junction, Utah. The shipments mark continued progress toward relocating the 16-million-ton uranium mill tailings pile away from the Colorado River.
“The federal budget continues to be stretched thin, and I am proud this project has used its limited funding wisely and is almost 38 percent complete,” said Federal Project Director Donald Metzler. “This has been accomplished while striving to exceed DOE’s stringent safety goals and despite a first-ever, three-month curtailment of shipping operations this past winter.”
The President’s Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Request, which includes almost $36 million for the Moab Project, allows for year-round operations.
“The employees deserve the credit for this significant project milestone,” said Jeff Biagini, Remedial Action Contractor Project Manager for Portage, Inc. “Having a workforce that is dedicated to performing its work at the highest level and in the safest manner is what got us to this point.”
The tailings are transported by rail in sealed metal containers to Crescent Junction, which is located 30 miles north of the Moab site. The tailings are placed in a DOE-constructed, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission-approved disposal cell near Crescent Junction and capped with a nine-foot-thick, multi-layered cover composed of native soils and rock.