Energy Resources Program
Sunday, January 01, 2017
Outside Publication: Ore Geology Reviews
A genetic deposit model was developed for economic sandstone-hosted uranium deposits that formed in Eocene through Pliocene sandstones in the Texas Coastal Plain. Here 254 uranium occurrences, including 169 deposits, 73 prospects, 6 showings and 4 anomalies, have been identified. About 80 million pounds of U308 have been produced and about 60 million pounds of identified producible U308 remain in place. Uranium is currently being produced from this region, and the deposit model may help identify new mineable deposits.
Tuesday, October 04, 2016
USGS Publication: Fact Sheet 2016-3074
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists have completed an assessment of the mineral-resource potential, including the uranium potential, of nearly 10 million acres of Federal and adjacent lands in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming. The assessment of these lands, identified as Sagebrush Focal Areas, was done at the request of the Bureau of Land Management. The assessment results will be used in the decision-making process that the Department of the Interior is pursuing toward the protection of large areas of contiguous sagebrush habitat for the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in the Western United States. The detailed results of this ambitious study are published in the five volumes of USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5089 and seven accompanying data releases.
Wednesday, December 02, 2015
Press Release & Publication The potential for almost five years of annual domestic U.S. nuclear fuel requirements may exist in south Texas, according to a new USGS assessment of both identified and undiscovered uranium oxide resources. This assessment estimates 60 million pounds of identified, but unmined, uranium resources, and more than 200 million pounds of newly estimated undiscovered resources. …
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
USGS Publication: Data Series 843
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has compiled Part B of the Energy Map of Southwestern Wyoming for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI). Part B consists of oil and gas, oil shale, uranium, and solar energy resource information in support of the WLCI.
Sunday, June 01, 2014
USGS Data Release
This data release summarizes geochemical groundwater data characterizing baseline water quality and changes during and after in situ recovery uranium mining for the Texas Coastal Plain.
Sunday, September 01, 2013
Outside Publication: Natural Resources Research
Historic exploration and development were used to evaluate the reliability of domestic uranium reserves and potential resources estimated by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national uranium resource evaluation (NURE) program in the US Gulf Coast Uranium Province.
Friday, May 31, 2013
USGS Publication: Open-File Report 2013–1118A variety of sediment and rock samples were collected in and around Tuba City Open Dump in 2008. Whole rock geochemistry has already been reported for sediment/rock/dune samples in Johnson and others (2008). Many of these samples were sieved in order to get grain-size distributions. The resulting grain-size distributions along with new whole rock geochemistry associated with each grain-size category are provided in this follow-up report. In addition, whole rock geochemistry from cores collected at sites WP-03 and WP-14 and a few X-ray diffraction samples are provided.
Monday, March 25, 2013
USGS Publication: Scientific Investigations Report 2012–5239
The U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration (EIA) joined with the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to analyze the world uranium supply and demand balance.
From 1946 to 1995 the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) was involved in understanding uranium geology, geochemistry, and resources. Much of that work was done on behalf of the Atomic Energy Commission, the Energy Research and Development Administration, and the Department of Energy. With the resurgence of uranium exploration and mining activities in the United States over the past few years, a substantial need for ready access to existing data in the files of the USGS' Energy Program has increased. The following are highlights of this Uranium website:
In addition to publications and databases, the USGS conducts uranium environmental studies and serves as a valuable platform for outreach including ask a scientist about uranium service.
This webpage will be a portal to access the wealth of Uranium research from the USGS and is evolving. Future website components will include:
Uranium and its decay products and associated trace elements create human health and environmental hazards wherever they occur in unusually elevated levels. Although uranium mill tailings have been the subject of extensive investigation and cleanup at mill sites across the U.S., uranium mine wastes remain at a number of sites throughout the western United States and constitute a significant hazard for casual visitors to the site from gamma exposure and inhalation of windblown dust. [+]
Visitors to underground uranium operations, which are common in many recreational areas of the west, have been exposed to extreme levels of radon. These hazards have been recognized by responsible Federal and State agencies and reclamation of many uranium mine sites in the west and closure of undergound mine openings has occurred. However, the extent and success of these programs has been controlled by the availability of funds under such programs as the Surface Mine Reclamation Act. The availability of these funds varies from State to State. Many areas of some western States continue to have exposed unreclaimed uranium mine wastes at former mining sites. The leaching of radionuclides and other elements by precipitation and the erosion of waste piles by wind and runoff are primary mechanisms by which adjacent soils, water, and ecosystems are impacted by uranium mine waste piles, yet very few studies of waste piles have occurred to document whether such processes create hazards beyond the immediate vicinity of the piles.
The USEPA released guidelines for uranium mine waste cleanup. In 2006 they published two volumes on the topic, a background volume and a risk assessment volume. These documents are based on the best available data but detailed studies that could further support the waste assessment and risk assessment are limited.
As recreational uses of older uranium mining areas increase and as residential areas expand into former uranium mine and prospect areas such as those in the Uravan Mineral belt and the Front Range of Colorado human exposures will increase. Evaluating uranium mine waste sites will assist Federal and State land management and environmental officials in assessing hazards and prioritizing needed cleanup.
Related to uranium mining environmental issues is the natural radiochemical and radiometric background for rocks, soils, and waters in the U.S. in general and uranium mining areas in particular. Cleanup standards for uranium mine sites should be based on the local background radiochemical and radiometric setting which is often poorly known. Moreover, environmental and health officials across the U.S. have been surprised when anomalously high levels of radon and uranium in domestic drinking water or indoor radon turn up in areas known by geologists to be uranium-enriched. Oftentimes nearby industrial activities are suspected as sources for contamination. Studies that assist local, state, and Federal health and environment officials in properly understanding these occurrences, assessing natural and anthropogenic sources, and then communicating the hazards associated with these occurrences are needed.
Some data are directly relevant to understanding the natural background for radionuclides in the U.S. Another effort of the National Uranium Resource Evaluation program of the Department of Energy was the national airborne radiometric and aeromagnetic reconnaissance survey which gathered gamma-ray data from almost all of the U.S. and Alaska. The USGS also became the archival agency for these data and much of the data has been published in the USGS Digital Data Series 9 (not available online, email here to request a copy).
During the late 1970s and early 1980s the Department of Energy, with assistance from the national laboratories and the U.S. Geological Survey, conducted a uranium resource assessment of the U.S., including Alaska (the National Uranium Resource Evaluation or NURE program). As part of this assessment, a hydrogeochemical and stream sediment reconnaissance (HSSR) survey was conducted of nearly the entire U.S. Although originally intended to assist uranium exploration and resource estimates, these data have had a wide variety of uses in exploring for other minerals and providing geochemical baseline information for environmental assessments. The U.S. Geological Survey became the archivist for this data under an agreement with the Department of Energy and has since placed a reformatted version of the entire dataset online. Information about this dataset and access to its components can be found at http://tin.er.usgs.gov/nure/sediment/ (compiled from USGS OFR 97-0492). A great deal of additional mineral resource, geological, geochemical, and geophysical data about the U.S. can be found at http://tin.er.usgs.gov/.
In the 1950’s and 1969’s, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) conducted a massive exploration program assisting private industry in locating uranium. As part of this program, a number of drilling projects were completed, testing for mineable uranium deposits. Paper and Mylar logs recording down hole lithologic and radiologic information were constructed during this exploration program. In 1974 when the AEC was abolished, these logs were retained by the U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration, and in 1977 transferred to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
The logs were retained in the DOE Grand Junction, Colorado Field Office until 1987 when the logs were transferred to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) offices in the Denver Federal Center. In 2012, USGS began scanning the logs into digital format for distribution to the public as part of a Department of the Interior Data Rescue project. Approximately half of the logs have been scanned and some have been georeferenced. As more logs are scanned, they will be uploaded to this site. Georeferencing the logs proved difficult as the log headers used drill project-specific coordinates with no information about projection or reference to longitude and latitude. Using the Data and Map view search options below, logs scanned in Adobe PDF format can be retrieved. Selected references describing the drill projects or mining districts drilled by the AEC are tabulated in the References view below. Where possible, the more obscure publications about the AEC drill projects that might be difficult to locate were scanned and are available as downloadable PDF’s. Questions about the Atomic Energy Commission drill hole database should be directed to Susan Hall, email@example.com, 303-236-1656. Click here for selected data source references. Log scans were completed by Theresa Hennessy and Carly Hyde, and georeferencing was performed by Mark Hannon at USGS offices in Denver, Colorado.
USGS National Geologic Map Database
Many geologic maps of uranium mining areas of the western U.S. are available as online digital images at the USGS' National Geologic Map Database-Geologic map image library webpage. Most of the maps are compilations at the 1:250,000 scale organized by NTMS 2-degree sheets. Western Colorado, eastern Utah, and Wyoming uranium mining areas are well represented in the collection.
Energy Information Administration
Energy Information Administration Nuclear Fuels
World Nuclear Association
World Informaiton Service on Energy - Uranium Project
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) - UDEPO Project
World Distribution of Uranium Deposits (UDEPO) is a database of significant uranium deposits throughout the world. The database contains information on the classification, geological characteristics, geographical distribution and resources of the deposits. It presently includes information on 858 deposits including 124 deposits in the United States. Free registration is required to view the database.
Page Last Modified: Thursday, November 12, 2015