Toxic spill raises fear at White Mesa uranium mill

‘These wastes will be here forever’uraniumpic2

‘We see clear signs of leakage’

An increase in heavy metals and acidity in wells and springs near the mill is a concern, said Colin Larrick, a water quality specialist with the tribe.

“We see clear signs of leakage, and feel it is urgent that the state take action to prevent a catastrophe,” he said.

A geological survey between 2008 and 2010 showed high levels of heavy metals and uranium in nearby Entrance Spring and higher acidity and heavy metals in monitoring wells.

‘A band-aid on a gushing wound’

Tribe officials are pushing for more reclamation while the plant continues to operate.

Based on the mill’s reclamation plan, it is estimated that cleanup would cost more than $100 million, Ute officials said, but the mill is only bonded for $22 million.

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