Moab UMTRA Project

Moab UMTRA Project equipment operators load mill tailings into containers. Haul truck drivers rinse the containers and load them onto a train. Each train carries up to 144 containers to the Crescent Junction disposal cell. [Courtesy photo]

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project hit a major milestone last week achieving 1,000 work days without a lost-time injury or illness as defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Honora Thompson, the Moab UMTRA Project’s public affairs manager, explained on June 3 that during this time period, more than 140 employees have safely logged over 600,000 work hours, excavated 1.25 million cubic yards of mill tailings and shipped 1.4 million tons of material.

“Safety is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying and determination,” federal cleanup director Russell McCallister said. “Because our project has a small workforce, we all feel the pain if someone gets hurt. Working 1,000 days safely and doubling our waste shipments during that time is nothing less than outstanding. It is an honor to work alongside such a talented, motivated and inspirational group of people.”

The project has relocated more than 60 percent of the uranium mill tailings pile from the Moab site to the Crescent Junction disposal cell. In February, the project expanded its workforce to accommodate increased shipments.

“A healthy and successful safety program requires employee commitment and contributions from all involved,” said the project’s manager Greg Church. “This milestone is a testament to the project’s safety culture and the personnel who have contributed. As a project, we will continue to strive for excellence and look forward to more achievements and continued success in the future.”

The remedial action contractor, North Wind Portage, and the technical assistance contractor,

S&K Logistics Services, are the Moab UMTRA Project’s primary contractors.