Dakota Datebook

Uranium Ash

Sunday, November 19, 2006

In the old days, lignite was often gathered and burned in stoves in North Dakota, but the Manidon Mining Company found it was more profitable to burn it in the vein. This process preserved the uranium in the ash. The Bismarck Tribune reported today in 1962 that once the ash was burned, it was recovered and shipped to a refining plant in Wyoming. The uranium was then sold to the US Atomic Energy Commission.

Manidon was leasing 1,200 acres in southwest North Dakota. Erling Nasset, the vice president and general manager of Manidon was optimistic of North Dakota’s newest industry. “Nobody will be a millionaire overnight,” he said, “but it’s going to be a pretty good, going business.”

By Tessa Sandstrom

“State lignite ash trucked to uranium refining plant,” Bismarck Tribune. Nov. 19, 1962: 19.

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Dakota Datebook is a project of Prairie Public, in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council.

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