The Geological Survey‘s program of investigation of radioactive raw materials is presented herewith under present investigations, plans for future investigations, plan of operation, and cost of operation. This report was prepared at the request of the Atomic Energy Commission.
Present investigations are summarized to show the scope of the present Trace Elements program, grouping individual projects into related types of investigations.
Plans for future investigations on an expanded scale are outlined. These should provide sufficient data and knowledge of the occurrence and availability of uranium, thorium, and related elements, to permit a more complete evaluation of domestic resources. Reconnaissance projects are designed to discover possible new sources of uranium and thorium and to select areas and materials warranting further investigation. Typical projects leading to the estimation of reserves are the investigation of the carnotite ores of the Colorado Plateau by geologic mapping, exploratory drilling, and related research, and investigation of asphaltic sandstone in Emery County, Utah. Extensive research will be undertaken to establish the principles governing the geological and geochemical relations of uranium, thorium, and associated elements as an essential guide in appraising domestic resources. Particular emphasis will be placed on phosphatic rocks and black shales which offer ultimate resources of uranium far greater than carnotite ores. All the foregoing investigations will be accompanied by chemical, gephysical, and mineralogical research and analytical work.
Under plan of operation is discussed the organization of the Trace Elements Unit, space requirements for laboratory and office, the scheduling of investigations, and other related problems. The proposed scheduling of work calls for approximately 109, 173, and 203 man years in fiscal years 1948, 1949, and 1950 respectively. Definite plans have been formulated only for the next three fiscal years, by which time it is assumed the program will reach stable proportions or can be altered as experience dictates.
Under cost of operation is set forth the funds available in fiscal year 1947, the status of funds transferred from Atomic Services (14-217/80920), and funds necessary in succeeding fiscal years. The estimate for fiscal year 1948 inclues a non-recurring item of $1,025,000 for establishing adequate laboratories for chemical, physical, spectrographic and mineralogic research and analytical work. The total funds required in fiscal years 1948, 1949, and 1950 to support the proposed program will be $2,440,000, $2,161,000 and $2,198,000 respectively. The Geological survey anticipates contributing from its appropriation in fiscal years 1948, 1949 and 1950 approximately $243,000, $350,000, and $400,000 respectively; the balance of the necessary funds to be contributed by the Atomic Energy Commission in fiscal years 1948, 1949, and 1950 will be approximately $2,196,900, $1,811,000, and $1,798,000 respectively.