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Sarah Kanouse, Monitoring well at the Colorado School of Mines athletic fields, Flickr


Colorado School of Mines Research Foundation

Active from 1949 to 1987, the Colorado School of Mines Research Foundation provided research and development for public and private natural resource industries, including at least 28 projects for the Atomic Energy Commission. The project was soon thereafter renamed Colorado School of Mines Research Institute (CSMRI) with its main purpose being the facilitation of research on domestic energy sources from coal and nuclear. In the 1960s the foundation expanded operations with a new site north of Golden, Colorado, called Table Mountain Research Center. After shutting down in 1987, the CSMRI underwent a remediation regiment of its some 7,700 drums of ore and toxic tailings pond. During this process, in January 1992, a water main pipe rupture led to the release of thousands of gallons of radioactive waste into Clear Creek, contaminating the drinking supply of 250,000 residents. The site is currently used as a parking lot, soccer pitch, and recreational area. Several buildings at the Table Mountain Research Center are leased for industrial use.

A small group plays soccer on a bright green athletic field under blue skies.
Sarah Kanouse, Former site of the Colorado School of Mines Research Foundation, Flickr


Emshwiller, John and Jeremy Singer-Vince. "Colorado School of Mines." In Wastelands: America’s Forgotten Nuclear Legacy. The Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2013. Accessed July 31, 2020.

King, Taylor. "Uncovering the Little Known History of Mines Research Institute." The Oredigger, November 16, 2016. Accessed August 1, 2020.

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