United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

NRC Staff To Hold Meeting on Former Atlas Mill Tailings Site in Moab, Utah

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U.S. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
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No. 01-007   January 25, 2001

NRC STAFF TO HOLD MEETING ON FORMER ATLAS MILL TAILINGS SITE IN MOAB, UTAH


The NRC staff has scheduled a meeting on February 7 in Moab, Utah, to discuss the status of the cleanup of the former Atlas Corporation uranium mill tailings site. The NRC will provide background information on the agency's current and future regulatory role, and update the attendees on events that have occurred since a meeting about a year ago.

The uranium mill, which operated from 1956 until 1984, had been owned by Atlas since 1962. The Atlas company filed for bankruptcy in 1998, and a year later the license was transferred to the Moab Mill Reclamation Trust, with PricewaterhouseCooper as trustee. The trustee is responsible for maintaining the site and administering funds. Uranium is no longer processed at the site.

In 1999, the NRC approved a cleanup plan by Atlas to remediate the site and dispose of the 7.5 million-cubic-yard tailings pile already located there. The pile would have been recontoured and covered with earthen material and rock to control radon emissions and prevent erosion.

The agency has held periodic public meetings during the last several years to report on the technical reports and environmental impact statements regarding stabilization of the tailings onsite.

Legislation enacted last year requires that the mill tailings site be transferred to the Department of Energy (DOE), which will then be responsible for remediating it. The license will be terminated and NRC's regulatory jurisdiction over the site will cease upon transfer to the DOE, which must occur on or before October 30.

Staff from the U.S. Department of Energy and a representative of the trustee for the site will also make presentations.

The meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Grand County High School, at 439 S 400 East in Moab. Participants may ask questions of the presenters at the conclusion of the meeting.


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