Molasses to be used on radioactive waste threatening Denver’s water supply?

Published: March 25th, 2013 at 2:39 pm ET


AP, March 22, 2013: A uranium company wants to use molasses to clean up an abandoned mine west of Denver. […]

The Denver Post, March 22, 2013: Cotter Corp. is preparing to brew a multimillion-gallon uranium cocktail in a mine shaft west of Denver — an innovation aimed at ending a threat to city water supplies. […] Such “bioremediation” would save Cotter tens of millions of dollars as an alternative to perpetually pumping out and treating mine water laced with uranium — which reached concentrations as high as 24,000 parts per billion inside the mine shaft, well above the 30 ppb federal drinking water standard. Uranium seeping from the mine has contaminated Ralston Creek, which flows into Denver Water’s Ralston Reservoir, a source of drinking water for 1.3 million metro residents. Utility treatments remove uranium before it reaches households. […]

See  also: [intlink id=”plutonium-up-to-1579-pcikg-detected-at-nuclear-facility-near-denver-contamination-levels-remain-as-high-as-40-years-ago-before-site-cleaned-up” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: March 25th, 2013 at 2:39 pm ET


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23 comments to Molasses to be used on radioactive waste threatening Denver’s water supply?


    let's see if I'm getting this right: the water supply's threatened with being contaminated, so slowing down the rate of contamination is the solution to the threat. And if it turns out this 'solution' doesn't work as effectively as they're now thinking it will on paper, will the tons of molasses require removal before they attempt any-other solution? Excuse my curious nature, but I just think that calling something sweet doesn't mean it should be swallowed without question…

  • getoutwhileyoustillcan

    "well above the 30 ppb federal drinking water standard"

    Anyone know how much uranium *should* be in drinking water?

    • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication

      And it is my understanding that there is NO way to remove radioactive substances from water at the present time. Someone please correct me with specifics if I am wrong.

      • getoutwhileyoustillcan

        I think you can filter some of it, but probably not all of it.


        @NoPrevarication: from my reading of what others have to say on this subject, other than tritium, all rad-contaminants can be extracted from water, using the distillation process. The tritium is suspended within the water as a gas and requires several days to 'evaporate' from standing water. Unfortunately, I've got the reference articles stored on another machine at a different location, so I can't provide further details at this moment…

    • We Not They Finally

      The prescribed "safe" amounts of radioactivity are almost never "safe." So at first we thought that 24,000 bbp as opposed 30 to bbp "safe" means less than a thousand times over the limit. But probably it's well over a thousand times any real safety limit. And yes, molasses sounds like a lame brain idea. Well, glad that they at least got CAUGHT, and that they are doing SOMETHING. And are they volunteering to then eat the radioactive molasses in their own households? No, of course not… (And the millions of gallons of radioactive molasses goes WHERE?)

      • getoutwhileyoustillcan

        "(And the millions of gallons of radioactive molasses goes WHERE?)"

        Into whatever (bacteria, etc.) eats it? Then up the food chain?

        • PurpleRain PurpleRain

          They are probably going to sell the radioactive molasses real cheap to school lunch programs for low income kids, I mean, what else would they do with it. Of course, they will be using all of that re-cycled radioactive metal silverware and school lunch trays too.

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    I googled molasses as a bioremediation for radioactive waste. There is nothing in the literature for this method. However, if it saves the mine owner tens of millions of dollars every year and only kills tens of millions….. There are many people in the surrounding area who go into Denver and eat there and millions who fly into Denver or come to Colorado as tourists every year.

    Think of all the houses which will come on to the Denver real estate market, and the speculators who can buy them up cheaply. Have to think ahead if you want to make millions of dollars.

    I think our governor wants to go to Washington, D.C., so he won't mind if everyone dies in Colorado.

    I'm warning my family about the water.


      totally agree anne. They're obviously attempting to push this nightmare off-into the future. Let someone else eat (yellow) cake…

  • Sickputer

    "Uranium seeping from the mine has contaminated Ralston Creek, which flows into Denver Water’s Ralston Reservoir, a source of drinking water for 1.3 million metro residents. Utility treatments remove uranium before it reaches households."

    SP: Why can't they dam the creek? A hundred million dollar project too expensive?
    Water at the municipal level can't be filtered for radiation…the water bill would go up ten times.

    They will dilute the water in Denver to lower the levels of uranium.

    It's a dirty, dirty secret that dilution and flushing into water resources is used by every nuclear plant in the country to clean out dirty sediment in nuclear plants. The NRC allows it.

    Read this article about how this dirty secret was exposed in Philadelphia in 2012:

    Excerpt: "The idea that the Limerick nuclear generating plant is “routinely discharging” nuclear waste into the Schuylkill River and that this is permitted by the NRC, and that by extension this is being done by all the nuclear generating plants across the nation, will no doubt come as a big surprise to most Americans, including those who live downstream and downwind of these plants (because it turns out that there are also permitted regular releases of radioactive gas by these other facilities). But that’s the truth."

    SP: Also a scathing indictment of Radnet later in the article.

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    This is why uranium mining should never be allowed. I hope people across the country boycott Denver airport. I hope all the tourists decide that Colorado is just too toxic. It they allow this in Denver, what are they allowing in other parts of Colorado? Money is the only thing that anyone in power ever listens to.

    • We Not They Finally

      Of course you already know that uranium mining is the BASIS of the nuclear industry. Multiple disasters from that all over. But there was even a recent article here in ENE News about companies want to do FRACKING for uranium. It's all obscene.

  • RememberThis RememberThis

    I'm a native Denverite, I have been drinking this city water for most of my 51 years.

    No wonder my guts are so completely messed up……


      @RememberThis: sorry to hear you're not feeling good. If you can, get hold of some gravity fed carbon-element water filters. I use three in series. Even if you're already 'dosed', cutting-back on what's being taken in will buy more time…

    • We Not They Finally

      At least do reverse osmosis water. Yu don't need a filter at home. You can do it at Whole Foods for about 49 cents a gallon, or even at some Walmarts for 25 cents a gallon. Just keep re-using the same containers. if you take baths (instead of showers), put baking soda in the bath water — filters at least some of the bad stuff out.

    • Thad


      Surprised you did not mention "Rocky Flats"

      • Sickputer

        From Thad's link on Rocky Flats:

        "The accident resulted in the contamination of Building 71 and the release of plutonium into the atmosphere, and caused US $818,600 in damage. An incinerator for plutonium-contaminated waste was installed in Building 71 in 1958."

        SP: Stupid American naked ape nucleocrats burning plutonium debris…any wonder why the Japanese are burning high level radiation? They learned from the sick bastards in America.

  • Sickputer

    Researchers proved 50 years ago cesium passes through the skin barrier of fish. I assume human skin is even less of a barrier to artificial radiation isotopes.

    Expensive home water filtering systems might help remove the bathing water hazard, but I'm not convinced any home system is the answer to the hazards of drinking water from nuclear power plant effluent. Buying bottled water from mountain areas is a tactic to limit internal radiation.

    Your body is mostly water with 57% body weight for average weight human males. Babies average 75% water weight so it is very important to provide safer water to infants and toddlers.

  • razzz razzz

    Do you guys ever read the entire articles posted where the quotes are taken from?

    The idea is to use bacteria as the active filtering agent. Molasses is used to contain or trap the uranium then the bacteria eats the molasses and excrete the uranium as some kind of harden poo pellets that are easier to collect at the bottom of the mine.

    The local water municipality filters out any uranium meant for human consumption since the contaminated creek is already flowing into the reservoir even though the mining company is trying/ordered to keep its mine water table low by pumping and treating mine water.

    How do I know the above? Because I read the frigg'in article.

    It is all true, will it work? I don't know. Does it raise more questions than it answers? Probably. Is it better than doing nothing? Guess so.


      must acknowledge your point razzz. I didn't read the entire article before commenting. I suppose the extracted material triggered my reaction to what I thought was happening; as opposed to what was actually happening! You are correct in using a ruler on those of us who hadn't fully reviewed the reference copy, before making comment. Bio-remediation is a valid approach to such problems and warrants serious consideration by all. And your closing comment is spot-on…

    • PurpleRain PurpleRain

      I'm not buying it. Didn't ENENEWS just report on the forests of trees that are NOT decaying due to radiation killing all the bugs and other small micro-organisms. There is no way that normal bacteria will eat the molasses when the radiation kills the normal bacteria first. I think this is just a ploy.

  • Au Au

    Adya Clarity Magnetic Minerals or Willards Water, brown – I wonder if either of these would clean it up. I am not a chemist so the previous sentence might be the dumbest thing ever said on this site. Still, if someone is a chemist and would care to pontificate on the possibility I would be interested. Seems to me I remember hearing of a case of a Gulf War vet detoxing DU with brown Willards Water.