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Uranium Mining Cleanup Status

The below resources document the scope of this debacle on the environment around the southwest. Billions have been spent to scratch the surface of the environmental disaster that the nuclear industry visited on the country. Thousands of abandoned mines are still spreading heavy metals and radon into the environment. There will be more extensive introduction soon.

History of Uranium Mill Tailings Clean-up Southwest Resource Information Center

Uranium mill tailings cleanup started in 1978 following passage of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA). UMTRAP was created as result of the Act, and has since provided the impetus for the development and use of a wide range of reclamation technologies - multiple-layer covers; low-angle, armored, erosion-resistant side slopes; and long-term post-closure care plans - that are used for uranium and other mill tailings sites world-wide. The UMTRCA legislation originally specified cleanup at 24 sites in 10 states. However, several of the original 24 sites have been consolidated for reclamation, and others removed. The "Overview" demonstrates that, though almost all of the surface remediation has been completed at the UMTRAP sites, significantly more effort and time is needed before groundwater clean-up work at the sites is completed.    More

Gallup Independent: 9-14-8: EPA summit addresses uranium cleanup

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Navajo EPA, along with four federal agencies, outlined a five-year plan Wednesday to clean up 50 years of uranium contamination on the Navajo Nation. More...

EPA: Five Year Cleanup Plan

As a result of October 2007 federal hearings that exposed the complete lack of any attempt at cleaning up the abandoned mines on Navaho lands for years, federal agencies led by the EPA release this new fiver year plan in May of 2008. More...

EPA: Uranium Mining: Radiation Protection

This is EPA's overview of the uranium mining in the U.S. It includes a brief history of uranium mining, a database of 4,000 uranium mines, and the EPA's role in dealing with the mines Plus technical reports. More...

Gallup Independent: Panel rips into feds; Tells them they've had 30 years to cleanup uranium waste and have done nothing

WINDOW ROCK — The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee plans to “hold feet to fire,” as Rep. Elijah Cummings succinctly put it, to ensure the Navajo people do not have to wait another 60 years to see something done about the contamination across Navajoland from past uranium mining and milling activities. More...

Deseret News | Cleaning up Moab tailings could cost up to $1 billion

WASHINGTON — The Energy Department estimates it could cost up to $1 billion to clean up the uranium mill tailings in Moab by 2019, based on an anticipated report issued to Congress late Tuesday.

Nuclear Decommissioning - Shiprock Mill

This is the DOE's UMTRA official cleanup history of Shiprock Mill site on Navaho land in New Mexico. More...

EPA Radiation Protection Laws Used

Some laws, such as the Clean Air Act and Safe Drinking Water Act, address radioactive contaminants only as part of the much larger problem of exposure to environmental contaminants. Other laws, such as the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Land Withdrawal Act, directly address EPA's role in the disposal of radioactive waste.Since it was established in 1970, EPA's radiation protection program has evolved as each of the laws we use was passed and put to work.

Uranium Mills Decomissioning Summary

This is the DOE's UMTRA' Project's database page for the sites it had cleaned up throught 1999 at a cost of $1.4 billion. It includes links to each cleanup project with histories. More...

Return to the Uranium Mining Report