United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Umetco Uravan

This site description was provided by the cognizant Agreement State, and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) makes no claim regarding the validity of the information provided. See our Site Disclaimer for more information.

1.0 Site Identification

Type of Site: Unknown
Location: Uravan, CO
License No.:
Docket No.:
License Status:  

2.0 Site Status Summary

The site is a former uranium mill and currently consists of four tailing repositories. Mining and milling activities in the Uravan area began in the early 1900s for recovering radium. From the 1930s until 1984, various plants operated as uranium or vanadium processing facilities. The facility was licensed, initially by the Atomic Energy Commission, then NRC, and later by Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) under the Radioactive Materials License CO 660-02 (the License). Past milling operations have contaminated the soils, groundwater, and surface water in the surrounding areas. Therefore, the site was added to the National Priorities List in 1984 as the Uravan Superfund Site by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In addition, the site has also been under a Consent Decree (CD) issued by Colorado District Court since 1987. Since then, site remediation has been conducted in accordance with the requirements in the Remedial Action Plan (RAP) attached to the CD. All tailings and contaminated materials have been placed in the capped repositories on site; site remediation and reclamation were completed in 2008.

In 2003, the alternative concentration limits (ACLs) for groundwater for 11 constituents were approved by CDPHE. For surface remediation, the site was cleaned up meeting the specific criteria in Part 18 of the Colorado Regulations Pertaining to Radiation Control (the Regulations), CD/RAP, or the Soil Cleanup Methodology Document approved by CDPHE in 1999. In 2012, NRC approved the alternative soil standards application for four areas in Uravan. In 2017, CDPHE identified additional areas in Uravan that still exceed the free release criteria in Part 18 of the Regulations. NRC determined that another alternative soil standards application for these areas is needed. Umetco is currently preparing the application. CDPHE continues preparing the Completion Review Report for license termination. This site is duel regulated by the State of Colorado under the Agreement State authority (the License) and EPA under the Superfund authority. In 2017, EPA determined that, in order to delist the site from Superfund, a Record of Decision (ROD) is needed to document all past remedial efforts and determine the necessary future institutional controls for areas with remaining residual contamination. EPA continues preparing the ROD.

3.0 Major Technical or Regulatory Issues

This site is duel regulated by the State of Colorado under the Agreement State authority (the License) and EPA under the Superfund authority. In 2017, EPA determined that, in order to delist the site from Superfund, a Record of Decision (ROD) is needed to document all past remedial efforts and determine the necessary future institutional controls for areas with remaining residual contamination. EPA continues preparing the ROD.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, August 23, 2018