On Thursday, December 14, the Moab project celebrated its milestone of permanently removing 14 million tons of residual radioactive material from the Moab site with the project team, senior members of the Department of Energy (DOE), and the local community.
Pictured above is the ceremonial moving of the tile representing the 14 millionth ton from Moab to the repository in Crescent Junction. Deputy Secretary of the Department of Energy (S-2), David Turk, and the Grand County Commissioner and Head of the Moab Tailings Pile Steering Committee, Mary McGann can be seen moving the tile in the photo. Also in attendance from DOE were Jeff Avery, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management (EM-2) as well as senior representatives from DOE’s offices of Legacy Management, Environmental Health Safety and Security, Environmental Management Consolidated Business Center, and Public Affairs.
The 12-person DOE team spent the morning touring the Moab and Crescent Junction sites, meeting with North Wind Portage teams at both sites, expressing their gratitude to the teams for their hard work, dedication, and continued emphasis on safety, and participating in the tile-moving ceremony with members of the Moab community.
The UMTRA pile site is a mile from the Arches National Park entrance and three miles northwest of downtown Moab, Utah. Mill tailings are a sand-like waste material that remains from conventional uranium ore processing. Railcar containers transport the Moab tailings to an approved disposal facility near Crescent Junction, which is located 30 miles north of the Moab site. After tailings are placed in the disposal cell, it is capped with multi-layers of locally sourced soils and rock.
North Wind Portage has held this contract since 2011.
“I’m proud of the team that we have working on this project. Not only have we moved 1 million tons this year to reach the 14-million-ton milestone, but we’ve also removed the Atlas building and the 14 buried autoclaves in a compliant and safe manner,” Jeff Scott, North Wind Portage President said.