Tailings pile makes waves
mine tailings piled on the banks of the Colorado River near Moab,
Utah, will stay put if the Nuclear Regulatory Agency and Atlas
Minerals Co. get their way. In a draft environmental impact
statement released in January, the federal agency says reclaiming
the tailings mountain on site - as the mining company has proposed
- is the best option. But simply capping 130 acres of radioactive
debris with earth and rock doesn't sit well with Grand County
Councilman Bill Hedden. He, along with the National Park Service,
Bureau of Land Management and the state of Utah, wants the sandy
tailings moved away from the river. "It's 11 million tons of really
nasty junk and it's going right in the groundwater," Hedden says.
The nuclear agency says moving the pile will cost up to 10 times
more than capping it.
For a copy of the draft
EIS (NUREG-1531) and accompanying Draft Technical Evaluation Report
(NUREG-1532), call 202/512-1800. To comment by March 30, contact
Chief, High-Level Waste and Uranium Recovery Projects Branch,
Division of Waste Management, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and
Safeguards, Mail Stop TWFN 7J-9, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory
Commission, Washington, DC 20555 (301/415-7238).