Navigation
Suscribe
Menu Search Facebook Twitter
Search Close
Menu ALL SECTIONS
  • Capital Coahuila
  • Capital Hidalgo
  • Capital Jalisco
  • Capital Morelos
  • Capital Oaxaca
  • Capital Puebla
  • Capital Quintana Roo
  • Capital Querétaro
  • Capital Veracruz
  • Capital México
  • Capital Michoacán
  • Capital Mujer
  • Reporte Índigo
  • Estadio Deportes
  • The News
  • Efekto
  • Diario DF
  • Capital Edo. de Méx.
  • Green TV
  • Revista Cambio
Radio Capital
Pirata FM
Capital Máxima
Capital FM
Digital
Prensa
Radio
TV
X
Newsletter
Facebook Twitter
X Welcome! Subscribe to our newsletter and receive news, data, statistical and exclusive promotions for subscribers
World

U.S. Won't Fine Company for Spilling Radioactive Sludge

The spills happened in 2015 and 2016, when radioactive waste leaked from trucks from a Wyoming uranium processing facility

A billet of highly enriched uranium that was recovered from scrap processed at the Y-12 National Security Complex Plant, photo: Wikimedia
3 months ago

CHEYENNE – The agency that regulates the U.S. nuclear industry will not fine a Canadian uranium mining company for twice spilling low-level radioactive sludge outside a Utah waste disposal facility, giving the company credit for efforts to prevent the problem from recurring.

Saskatoon, Canada-based Cameco faced a $35,000 fine from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Commission officials told Cameco they won’t seek a fine in part because the company plans in the future to store the barium sulfate sludge in bags within the trucks.

“However, significant violations in the future could result in a civil penalty,” NRC Deputy Regional Administrator Scott Morris wrote the company June 29.

Cameco is pleased to have resolved the problem to the NRC’s satisfaction, company spokesman Gord Struthers said Wednesday.

Shipments of barium sulfate sludge from the Smith Ranch in-situ uranium mine and processing facility in northeast Wyoming will resume after the NRC has signed off on Cameco’s corrective measures, Struthers added.

In a public conference before NRC officials in Arlington, Texas, in May, Cameco officials had asked the NRC not to fine the company, saying the spills didn’t endanger anybody.


The leaks happened on two occasions, in 2015 and 2016. Both times, low-level radioactive waste leaked from trucks from a Wyoming uranium processing facility.

The first time, sludge sloshed over the back of the truck when the driver braked hard to avoid hitting a deer. The second time, sludge leaked from a faulty door in the truck container.

Workers noticed the leaks after the trucks arrived outside Energy Fuels Resources’ White Mesa Mill waste disposal facility near Blanding, Utah. Subsequent testing found no elevated radiation along the roughly 600-mile shipment route through Wyoming, Colorado and Utah.

The NRC determined that Cameco committed nine rule violations. All were on the low end of the agency’s severity scale but five were serious enough to warrant fines, according to the NRC.

The white, paste-like sludge that spilled is a normal byproduct of in-situ uranium mining, in which water mixed with oxygen and baking soda dissolves uranium out of underground sandstone deposits. The resulting uranium-laden solution is then processed into yellowcake and nuclear fuel.

Cameco Resources’ Smith Ranch-Highland mine in eastern Wyoming is the biggest in-situ uranium mine by production volume in the U.S.

MEAD GRUVER

Comments Whatsapp Twitter Facebook Share
More From The News
Sports

NBA Changes All-Star Game Format; Captai ...

2 weeks ago
Business

World Stocks Mixed as Investors await mo ...

2 weeks ago
World

Sweden Grants Temporary Asylum to 106-Ye ...

2 weeks ago
World

Puerto Rico Raises Hurricane's Official ...

2 weeks ago
Most Popular

EPN: Tragedy Has Brought Army and Citize ...

By The News
Mexico

Help Still Needed in Xochimilco

By The News
Mexico

September 19: What Mexico Refuses to Lea ...

By The News
Living

Mexicans March to Remember Tlatelolco '6 ...

By The News
Mexico

Argentine Wines, Beyond Malbec

By Thérèse Margolis
Living