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Energy Dept. Backs Uranium Mining In Western Colorado

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Energy is again proposing opening up 25,000 acres of land in western Colorado to uranium mining.

The department released the proposal Friday for 31 tracts it manages in Mesa, Montrose and San Miguel counties.

The area helped supply the uranium used to develop the first U.S. atomic bombs that ended World War II. But the mining boom collapsed with the end of the Cold War and the problems facing nuclear energy starting with Three Mile Island in 1979.

A federal judge in 2011 blocked the energy department’s plans to relaunch mining there, saying it needed to conduct a detailed analysis of the plan and take public comment.

The energy department will hold hearings on the proposal during the week of April 22 in Grand Junction, Montrose, Telluride and Naturita.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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