We oversaw the removal action at a historic underground uranium mine in Cibola County, New Mexico
Reclaiming a historic uranium mine in an arid environment posed unique engineering challenges. Extreme temperature fluctuations, flash flooding, and radiation potential would impact our designs as well as construction processes. Additionally, the total volume of waste present at the closed mine could not be determined until the excavation process. Due to this unknown factor, the client needed flexibility and our team was hired to help.
The mine is located on US Forest Service property and included approximately 80 acres of disturbed land, 60,000 cubic yards of waste-rock, an abandoned mine shaft, and a great deal of debris. We prepared the removal action design and subsequent construction, performing a comprehensive site characterization prior to the removal action to test for radiation. Our objectives were clear: reduce the risk of gamma radiation exposure and limit the release of waste material to the environment.
Completed in 21 months, we designed the reclamation to aesthetically blend in with the surrounding landscape while responsibly capping the repository with an evapotranspirative cover. The site can withstand the erosive forces of wind and water, as well as sustain native vegetation for long-term stability.
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