UTAH ASSOCIATED MUNICIPAL POWER SYSTEMS
PROPOSES SMALL MODULAR REACTOR PROJECT AT
IDAHO NATIONAL LAB
The Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS), a group of municipal utilities, intends to develop a 12-unit Small Modular Reactor project, proposed to be located at the Department of Energy (DOE) Idaho National Lab. The project would use the NuScale reactor design, which must be approved separately by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The design places both the reactors and the spent fuel in the same pool of water in a large containment building.
UAMPS, NuScale, and the DOE erroneously claim that these SMRs are “Carbon Fee.” These promoters of SMRs as “Clean Energy” ignore the energy (likely generated by fossil fuel) and fuel required to mine and mill uranium, convert and enrich the uranium, fabricate the nuclear fuel, manufacture and transport the reactor units, SMR construction and operation, transportation and disposal of the irradiated reactor fuel. Every step of the way, the SMR project will not be “carbon free.” Nuclear power, including the smaller SMRs, is dirty, dangerous, and expensive.
NuScale expects to submit a design certification application to the NRC later this year. NuScale has been holding meetings with the NRC and responding to Requests for Additional Information. UAMPS would submit a separate application for a construction and operation (COL) license, expected in 2018.
UAMPS 45 members are in primarily in Utah, but include utilities in Nevada, New Mexico, Idaho, Wyoming, California, and Oregon. Los Alamos County, which provides electricity to the Los Alamos National Lab, has joined UAMPS in order to participate in the SMR project. According to NuScale, 32 UAMPS have decided to participate at this stage. Some utilities has already said they would not be part of the project, others would have to give final approval. The costs of the project, even with DOE providing millions of dollars, are currently unknown.
UAMPS and NuScale are trying to get as much taxpayer funding for this project as possible. NuScale has established an advisory board of representatives of industrial and utility companies, including Rocky Mountain Power.
UTAH DIVISION OF WATER QUALITY
TO RENEW RIM URANIUM MINE UPDES PERMIT
Comments Due - June 27
The Utah Department of Water Quality issued a Notice of an opportunity to comment on the Rim Uranium Mine Utah Pollution Discharge Elimination System (UPDES) Permit (UT 0023922). The permit limits the pollutants in the mine water discharged after treatment to remove radium. Environmental Protection Agency regulations limit the amount of uranium, radium, and other constituents in the treated mine water discharge. The Rim Mine is owned by Energy Fuels Resources Inc., the Canadian company that owns the White Mesa Mill.
The Rim Mine, on Bureau of Land Management land in southern San Juan County at the end of Bryan Road (west of West Summit Road), last operated in 2009. The mine has operated intermittently since the 1970s, but has never produced much ore.
Equipment has been removed from the mine, mine water is no longer pumped/treated/discharged, the ponds that hold treated mine water have dried up, cows wander at will. It is likely that the mine will never again operate.
On April 5, 2016, the DWQ conducted a UPDES inspection of the mine. Also, the Utah Division of Oil, Gas & Mining is in the process of updating the reclamation surety for the Rim and other Energy Fuels uranium mines.
UTAH SEEKS SCOPING COMMENTS ON SHOOTARING CANYON URANIUM MILL
The Utah Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control (DWMRC) has issued a Notice requesting scoping comments on the License Renewal for the Shootaring Canyon Uranium Mill, Garfield County, Utah. Comments are due March 25.
The agency is seeking comments from the public about the relicensing and possible reopening of the Mill. Anfield Resources Inc. must submit the License Renewal Application by the end of June. Anfield would like to refurbish and reopen the Mill, which has not operated since 1982.
However, Anfield does not have the funds to reopen the Mill or the funds to permit, develop, and operate a couple of uranium mines. According to Anfield's SEDAR filings, as of September 2015, the Company had a working capital deficit of $1,504,061. Anfield has no history of profitable operations. As of November 2015 Anfield had insufficient funds to meet all property commitments and agreements.
The Mill should be decommissioned and reclaimed. However, the tailings impoundment is unlined, so there are issues about the long-term presence of uranium mill tailings in the Colorado River watershed.
The current uranium market does not support the operation of the only conventional uranium mill in the United States licensed to operate, the White Mesa Mill. The White Mesa Mill is on standby, and all of the permitted uranium mines in Utah have been on standby since 2012 or before. There is no evidence that the current price of uranium will support the operation of a new mill and new mines, even if Anfield has all the capital it needed to refurbish the Mill and permit and operate mines to produce uranium ore.
UTAH DIVISION OF WATER QUALITY
TO RENEW RIM URANIUM MINE UPDES PERMIT
The Utah Department of Water Quality (DWQ) has issued a Notice of an opportunity to comment on the Utah Pollution Discharge Elimination System (UPDES) Permit (UT 0023922). The permit limits the pollutants in the mine water discharged by the mine from its water treatment system. Environmental Protection Agency regulations limit the amount of uranium, radium, and other constituents in the mine water. The mine is owned by Energy Fuels Resource Inc., the Canadian company that owns the White Mesa Mill.
The Rim Mine, on Bureau of Land Management Land in southern San Juan County west of West Summit Road last operated in 2009. Equipment has been removed from the mine, mine water is no longer pumped/treated/discharged, the ponds that hold treated mine water have dried up, cows wander the unfenced site at will, and it is likely that the mine will never again operate.
On April 5, 2016, the DWQ conducted a UPDES Inspection of the mine. Also, the Utah Division of Oil, Gas & Mining is in the process of updating the reclamation surety for the Rim and other Energy Fuels uranium mines.
UTAH APPROVES TRANSFER OF
SHOOTARING CANYON MILL TO ANFIELD
The Utah Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control (DWMRC) has approved the transfer of the Shootaring Canyon Uranium Mill from Uranium One Americas, Inc. (Uranium One) to Anfield Resources Holding Corp. (Anfield). The DWMRC transferred the Mill's Radioactive Material License and Groundwater Quality Discharge Permit.
On December 2, 2015, DWMRC responding to a November 17, 2015, license extension request and extended the date for Anfield to submit a license renewal application to June 30, 2016.
According to documents submitted to the Canadian Securities Administrators and available on SEDAR, Anfield is in debt and does not have the funds to refurbish the mill, operate the mill, or permit, develop, and operate uranium mines to supply ore to the Mill.
• Shootaring Canyon License and Permit Transfer
STOP FUKUSHIMA FREEWAYS CAMPAIGN!
Maps Show Utah Major Route for High Level Waste
Uranium Watch has joined the Nuclear Information and Resource Service Campaign to stop the transportation of the nuclear reactor spent fuel rods (High Level Nuclear Waste), to Yucca Mountain and through Utah.
Massive and unnecessary radioactive waste transportation would occur across the U.S. if the scientifically-indefensible Yucca Mountain, Nevada, waste dump were to be revived. Such large-scale transport would also occur if, as some in Congress advocate, a "centralized interim storage" site for high-level radioactive waste were created. In that case, the waste would either have to move twice (once to the interim site, and then to a permanent site), thus doubling the risks. The "interim" site could become a de facto permanent waste dump.
Over 10,000 casks would move through Utah along I-15, I-80, I-84, and along the rail lines across Utah from Colorado. Casks would be transported along the Colorado River canyons in Colorado and Utah. Colorado and Utah are not prepared for to handle these hazards.
• Utah HLNW Transportation Map
• Colorado HLNW Transportation Map
• State of Nevada Nuclear Waste Information WebSite
• The Spectrum (St. George) - News Article
• The Grand Junction Sentinel (Grand Junction) - News Article