From the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Gary Harmon):
Abut 630,000 tons will have been moved from Moab to the disposal cell near Crescent Junction by year’s end, said Wendee Ryan of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Energy Department and its contractor, Energy Solutions Corp., began moving the tailings pile this year. Moab residents and downstream water providers lobbied for years to have the 16-million-ton pile of mill tailings moved from its spot along the north bank of the Colorado River to a cell up against the Bookcliff Mountains at Crescent Junction that is deemed less likely to contaminate the river.
The pile is being moved by train from Moab to the disposal cell 30 miles north. It takes about 80 minutes for the train to travel to Crescent Junction with a full load of tailings, Ryan said. “It’s very slow and deliberate,” she said.
There, the contents of each 33-ton and 40-ton container placed in the cell are marked via Global Positioning System, said Fred Smith of Energy Solutions. The cell, in which native earth has been scoured out to form a half-mile-wide pit, will be filled with tailings and then recovered with the native earth. Once the tailings pile has been moved, it will fill a cell about a half-mile wide and a mile long, Smith said.