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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U-S Department of Energy cleared the way today for almost 12 (M)million tons of radioactive waste to be moved from the banks of the Colorado River.
The river provides drinking water for more than 25 (M)million people across the West.
The Uranium tailings will be moved to the proposed Crescent Junction, Utah, site, more than 30 miles from the Colorado River.
The 94-foot-tall waste pile is leftover from uranium mining operations that began in the 1950s. The Moab mining operations were owned by private companies until 2001 when the Energy Department took over in 2001.
Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said today's decision demonstrates their commitment to fulfill their Cold War cleanup obligations as well as preserving the long-term environmental health of the river and the communities it serves.
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)