Energy policy — nuclear: Cotter Corp, Inc. cited for spill at the Lincoln Park/Cotter Mill superfund site


From The Denver Post (Bruce Finley):

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment officials charged with overseeing a Superfund cleanup at the site issued the notice of violation because Cotter’s operating permit requires properly functioning equipment. But because Cotter notified department officials as required, documented the problem and fixed the broken equipment, “no further enforcement actions are anticipated,” health department spokeswoman Jeannine Natterman said. The uranium-tainted water will not add to the contamination that in the past reached groundwater in neighborhoods near Cañon City, Natterman said. An underground clay barrier installed in the 1980s and the pumping system will contain toxic material, she said.

More coverage from Tracy Harmon writing for The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

The accident happened when the lid to a vault containing pumps for the “pumpback” system was inadvertently left open overnight, causing the flange to freeze and rupture. The problem was discovered the next morning by Cotter personnel and corrected…

“This condition on the Cotter license is more strict than at any other uranium recovery facility and is not required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or Colorado regulations,” Tarlton explained. Cotter employees maintain a pumpback system to capture contaminated groundwater and pump it back to the primary impoundment for evaporation. This system prevents groundwater contaminated by pre-1978 operations from further contaminating the neighboring Lincoln Park groundwater.

More nuclear coverage here here.

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