Welcome to A People's Atlas of Nuclear Colorado

To experience the full richness of the Atlas, please view on desktop.
Sarah Kanouse, Monitoring field at the former Rifle Processing Faciility, Flickr


Rifle Processing Sites

Two former uranium and vanadium processing sites operated by Union Carbide are located near the city of Rifle, Colorado. The New Rifle Site operated from 1958-1985. The Old Rifle Site operated from 1924-1958, when it transferred and reprocessed most of its mill tailings at the New Rifle Site. Colorado acquired these sites in 1988 and commenced remediation by removing radioactive tailings and transferring them to a disposal cell 6 miles north of the site. From 2008 to 2010, the City of Rifle built a wastewater treatment facility on the site, which derives 60 percent of its power from solar panels. Alluvial groundwater surrounding the Rifle Processing Sites still holds elevated levels of nitrate, uranium, and molybdenum, some of which has migrated to sites owned by the Umetco Minerals Corporation.


U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Legacy Management. "Rifle, Colorado, Disposal and Processing Sites" Fact Sheet. May 2020. Accessed July 31, 2020.

Last Updated:


Continue on "Uranium Mill Sites in Colorado"