Sealed steel containers are loaded onto railcars at the Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project site in preparation for transport of uranium mill tailings to the Crescent Junction disposal cell, 30 miles north of Moab.
Sealed steel containers are loaded onto railcars at the Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project site in preparation for transport of uranium mill tailings to the Crescent Junction disposal cell, 30 miles north of Moab.

MOAB, UtahEM’s Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project shipped more than 1 million tons of mill tailings for disposal in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, the largest annual amount since fiscal 2012.

“One million tons in a year is a major accomplishment for the project,” Moab Project Federal Cleanup Director Russell McCallister said. “Even more, we accomplished this goal despite the unique challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

A view of EM’s Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project site in Utah.
A view of EM’s Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project site in Utah.

The Moab Project, which started in 2009, is charged with moving mill tailings from the Moab Site, near the Colorado River, to a permanent disposal cell about 30 miles north of Moab in Crescent Junction, Utah. The tailings resulted from legacy uranium milling operations.

The Moab Project has also exceeded 1,800 workdays without a lost-time injury or illness.

Workers at the Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project site use an excavator to load uranium mill tailings, a sand-like material that remains from processing uranium ore, into a haul truck for transport for moisture conditioning prior to loading into containers for disposal.
Workers at the Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project site use an excavator to load uranium mill tailings.

“I’m proud that we’ve adhered to the highest standards of safety for our workers and the community,” McCallister said. “North Wind Portage really outdid themselves, showing incredible initiative and ingenuity by adding three additional railcars on the very space-limited rail bench. Each train shipment now includes twelve additional containers full of residual radioactive material.”

The Crescent Junction disposal cell looking north, toward Utah’s Book Cliffs. This photo depicts several phases of disposal cell construction, ranging from final cover on the left to newly excavated cell floor on the right.
The Crescent Junction disposal cell looking north, toward Utah’s Book Cliffs. This photo depicts several phases of disposal cell construction, ranging from final cover on the left to newly excavated cell floor on the right.

North Wind Portage is the Moab Project's remedial action contractor.

Mill tailings are a sand-like material that remain from processing uranium ore. Tailings are transported by rail in locked steel containers to Crescent Junction, where they are placed in the disposal cell.