Report delayed on effects of gas drilling near radioactive site
DENVER – The release of a report on the potential effects of drilling for natural gas at the site of a 1969 underground nuclear explosion has been delayed until late spring, the Energy Department said.The study was to be released last month but was undergoing reviews, DOE officials said.The site is near Rulison, about 40 miles northeast of Grand Junction and 150 miles west of Denver.The federal study is to gauge whether radioactive byproducts have migrated from the site and whether drilling could affect any movement of contaminants.The report will be also be used to set new boundaries for drilling around the site. Drilling is currently barred within a half-mile of the site.The Atomic Energy Commission detonated a 43-kiloton bomb at the site to free gas about 8,400 feet below the surface, but the gas was considered too radioactive to be sold commercially.The DOE began deactivating and cleaning the surface of the site in the 1970s and finished in 1998.
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