Long-Term Federal Management of Uranium Mill Tailings: Background and Issues for Congress [Updated February 22, 2021]   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Introduction: "Congress passed the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 (UMTRCA, P.L. 95- 604) in the wake of environmental and public health concerns about exposures to radiological and nonradiological waste material originating from Cold War-era uranium mill tailing sites. Title I of UMTRCA authorized a remedial action program for uranium mill tailing sites that were inactive prior to the law's enactment in 1978. Under Title I of UMTRCA, the federal government was mostly responsible for financing the remediation and decommissioning of Title I sites, most of which produced uranium for nuclear weapons and other defense purposes. Title II of UMTRCA authorized federal agencies to regulate uranium mill tailings produced at commercially licensed facilities still operating on or after 1978. For Title II sites, Congress intended that commercial uranium mill operators, not the federal government, pay for site decommissioning and tailings stabilization activities. [...] This report presents the historical context for the law, the status of implementation since enactment, and selected issues for Congress. UMTRCA does not authorize the regulation of uranium mining--the process of physically removing uranium ore from the earth--or the disposal of waste material produced by uranium mining. The regulation of uranium mining and the remediation of abandoned uranium mines are not discussed in this report."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R45880
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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