From The Deseret News (Amy Joi O’Donoghue):
This month marks the 10th anniversary of the first rail shipment of radioactive tailings from the “Pile” near the banks of the Colorado River, with an estimated 9.5 million tons buried 30 miles away.
The U.S. Department of Energy announced that roughly 6.5 million tons of the uranium mill tailings remain.
In February, the government began a stepped-up schedule of removal, doubling weekly train shipments to Crescent Junction, where the disposal cell is located.
Each train can haul up to 144 containers and carry approximately 4,700 tons of mill tailings.
The accelerated schedule added 23 new employees to the project, which sits on 480 acres near the west bank of the river. The tailings cover 130 acres.
Once the site is fully remediated, community leaders say it could be home to numerous amenities such a trails, an outdoor event center, a community park or a welcome center.
The mill was built in 1956 outside Moab and closed in 1984. The site is monitored continuously for groundwater contamination and with air monitors. A portion of the site has been contoured to protect against flood events.