Defense-Related Uranium Mines Program

Office of Legacy Management

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Defense-Related Uranium Mines (DRUM) Program (Program) is a partnership between DOE, federal land management agencies, and state abandoned mine lands (AML) programs to verify and validate the condition of 2,500 defense-related uranium mines (mines) on federal public land by the year 2022. The Program builds on DOE’s DRUM Report to Congress effort, which found that 4,225 purchase records exist across the nation. These mines provided uranium ore to the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission for defense-related activities that occurred between 1947 and 1970 and most are abandoned.

Most mines are located on federal public land and are abandoned. DOE Office of Legacy Management implements the Program by conducting verification and validation (V&V) activities, including:

  • Exchanging information with other federal agencies and state governments to improve the quality of mine-specific data
  • Performing field inventories to document the condition of the mines
  • Conducting gamma surveys, soil sampling, and water sampling (as applicable), and collecting multiple lines of evidence to help evaluate hazards posed by the mines
  • Producing mines reports that offer inventory results as well as evaluations of physical hazards and potential chemical and radiological risks

Ultimately, these V&V activities will result in preliminary risk screening to assess whether the mines pose potential risks to human health and the environment. This information will be shared with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, and states to help them make decisions about how to address mines posing the greatest risks.

DRUM Program site: Two sites in Colorado.
Cribbing and ore chute at the Merry Widow Mine in Colorado (main photo) and Ore Bin 4 at the Paradox 4 Mine in Colorado (inset photo).

Contact Information

To submit information, questions, and comments:

Legacy Management Support Public Affairs
U.S. Department of Energy Office of Legacy Management
11035 Dover Street, Suite 600, Westminster, CO 80021
(866) 559-8316 (toll-free)