Colorado

Jul 22, 2010 9:31 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Legacy of nuke drilling site in Colorado lingers

A 1969 underground nuclear blast twice the strength of the Hiroshima, Japan, bomb was meant to free natural gas from tight sandstone formations in western Colorado.

But gas unlocked by Project Rulison was deemed too radioactive for commercial use, and today the Energy Department prohibits drilling immediately around the site.

In the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, some residents around the blast site worry that pressure will grow to increase onshore drilling, even closer to the former nuke site.

The Energy Department says residents are safe, and Colorado regulators require a public hearing if companies wants to drill within a half-mile of the blast site.

So far, there are no active wells that close.

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