The Defense-Related Uranium Mines (DRUM) Program of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Legacy Management works closely with numerous federal and state agencies across the country, including the Utah Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program (AMRP) and Utah State Office of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
Recently, the two Utah agencies partnered to safeguard approximately 62 hazardous abandoned uranium mine entries in the Red Canyon area of southeastern Utah, near the town of Blanding.
Field teams from the DRUM Program performed verification and validation (V&V) work at these mines during the 2017 and 2018 field seasons. Field data collected, reduced, compiled, and reported by the DRUM Program was used by AMRP to better understand mine features and implement the Red Canyon hazardous mine entry safeguard project. AMRP relied on DRUM data to resolve mine inventory inconsistencies and verify data provided by a third-party contractor. Radiological and geochemical data for specific mines obtained by DRUM field teams during the V&V process was also considered by AMRP, providing confidence that remnant mine waste and ore piles did not contain excessive levels of gamma radiation, arsenic, or uranium, as well as assuring a safe working environment for staff completing the safeguarding.
Utah AMRP is currently designing individual safeguards for the upcoming White Canyon and Deer Flat hazardous mine safeguard projects, as well as continued work at Red Canyon. DRUM Program data is being utilized to better plan this work. The DRUM Program is excited to share valuable data with our partners, leading to protection of human health and the environment and safer public lands.