Work to remove uranium waste in Utah picking up

Work to remove uranium waste in Utah picking up

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The job of moving 16 million tons of radioactive waste from the shores of the Colorado River in southern Utah is picking up steam.

The U.S. Department of Energy says more than 330,000 tons of uranium tailings have been hauled away from a huge pile near Moab and deposited in disposal pits 30 miles to the north.

Crews began running two trainloads a day in August, doubling the amount of waste shipped to Crescent Junction each day.

Project manager Donald Metzler says the pace will pick up even more next month with longer trains and more container cars.

The work is part of a $1 billion project to clear away a 130-acre heap of waste left behind after the closure of a uranium mill in 1984. The project could be completed by 2022 or earlier if additional funds are secured.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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