Denver (AP) - Garfield County is asking federal officials to drill test wells near a 1969 underground nuclear blast site to ensure natural gas development won't release radioactivity.
County Commissioners sent a letter to Colorado's Congressional Delegation and the Energy Department asking for field tests so companies drilling near the western Colorado site don't end up playing “a game of chicken.”
Federal officials say mathematical modeling and investigations show little chance of contamination. The DOE prohibits drilling on 40 acres around the site near Rulison, 50 miles northeast of Grand Junction.
Drilling within three miles is monitored.
The Rulison blast was an attempt to use nuclear devices to release natural gas, but the gas was too radioactive to use.
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