(Grand Junction, CO) ― The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has safely moved another million tons of uranium mill tailings from the Moab, Utah site under the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. This brings the total tailings shipped to the engineered disposal cell near Crescent Junction, Utah to 11 million tons.

“This is truly an exciting time,” Federal Cleanup Director Russell McCallister said. “As cleanup continues at this accelerated rate, we can see final closure on the horizon. As such, DOE is establishing a Closure Integrated Project Team focusing on what ‘the end’ looks like. Considering what opportunity the site’s future could hold, our office is teaming with DOE’s Office of Legacy Management and local and state stakeholders to help define what that looks like. We look forward to our partnership with the community in regards to closure of the site.”

The Project is also recognizing the workforce for another major achievement, exceeding more than 1,500 work days without a lost-time injury or illness.

“Everyone is going home as they came to work, healthy,” McCallister said. “That’s no small feat, especially during the COVID pandemic.”

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, located 30 miles north of the Moab site. The tailings are placed in the disposal cell, which is capped with a multi-layered cover composed of native soils and rock. In addition, active remediation of the Moab site’s groundwater, although not suitable for human consumption, is also an important part of the Project’s scope.

Contact: Honora Thompson Moab Project Public Affairs Manager (970) 257-2145