|About the Book|
From 1978 to 1998, Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project contractors removed and secured nearly forty million cubic yards of low-level radioactive uranium reduction mill tailings waste from abandoned mill sites in eleven states andMoreFrom 1978 to 1998, Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project contractors removed and secured nearly forty million cubic yards of low-level radioactive uranium reduction mill tailings waste from abandoned mill sites in eleven states and four Indian reservations, enough material to bury 2300 football fields in ten feet of radioactive sand. The contractors also decontaminated over five thousand residential, commercial, and public properties that had been polluted with tailings. In addition to these federal efforts, the private uranium industry interred millions of tons of tailings generated by their mill operations. The UMTRA Project was the world??s largest materials management program designed to shield the public from potentially hazardous radioactive materials.This is the story of that project, contextualized within the history of American atomic power and uranium mining. Warm Sands explores the structural factors that drove the formation of tailings policy, focusing on certain variables such as the legal centralization of authority over atomic energy in the federal government, the autonomy of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and Congress??s Joint Committee on Atomic Energy (JCAE), public health concerns, and traditional American democracy???vital to understanding the evolution of milling policy. Mogren discovered that non-elected governmental technocrats, scientists, lawyers, and administrators played a more influential role than did politicians or the public in the policy-making process. Furthermore, governmental organizations and semi-autonomous atomic bureaucrats did not function in predictable ways in the formation of mill tailings policy.