National Geographic : 1954 Oct
558 Ankle-deep in Water, Drillers Prepare to Blast Ore from a Moab, Utah, Uranium Mine Pneumatic drills bite 10-foot-deep holes into this ore face in the rich Steen mine; man on left will use poles to ram home the charges of dynamite. When dust from the explosion subsides, dump trucks will be driven directly into the mine to be loaded. Boxes slung from miners' belts are battery packs for head lamps. as much as gold and more than twice as much as iron. The weight of uranium came as a consider able surprise to one railroad freight agent dur ing World War II. A research laboratory in a middle western city had refined a number of ingots of uranium and ordered a freight car shunted onto a siding for shipping them out. The uranium bars were so heavy that, when the car was loaded to its normal weight limit, it was far from full. Unaware of the nature of the shipment, the railroad's freight agent angrily asked the sci entists if they did not know that "there's a war on" and said that the car would have to be fully loaded. Not until the car was run on the scales was he convinced. Most of those who are taking part in the search for uranium believe that it can eventu ally help bring about unlimited improvement in the standard of living of all mankind in a peaceful world. The development of atomic bombs has caused a vast expansion of scien tific knowledge that is being used to bring closer to reality the tremendous peacetime possibilities of atomic energy. The Atomic Age is here to stay; so is the opportunity for the "atomic prospector" to strike it rich.