NEWS ARCHIVE - 2009

NEWS ARCHIVE - 2011

NEWS ARCHIVE - 2010

NEWS ARCHIVE - 2008


December 20, 2009

Colorado Department of Public Health
and Environment Finds Piñon Ridge Mill
Application to be Complete

The Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE) announced their determination that the Energy Fuels Resources Inc. application for the Piñon Ridge Uranium Mill was complete. The CDPHE will begin its technical review of the application for the mill in the Paradox Valley in southwest Colorado.

Energy Fuels will hold its first public meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, at Nucla High School, 225 W. 4th Ave. in Nucla. The meeting is not for the submittal of comments on the application that will be considered by the CDPHE.

Public comments will be accepted by the CDPHE throughout the review process. People may comment about the application at public meetings to be announced, via e-mail to cdphe.hmenergyfuels@state.co.us, via fax to (303) 759-5355, or by writing to Steve Tarlton or Warren Smith at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Radiation Program, 4300 Cherry Creek Dr. So., Denver, CO 80246-1530.

Public Notice
Application and Related Documents

December 12 , 2009

Draft Environmental Documents for Three ISL Uranium Recovery Facilities Available for Public Comment - Comments Due February 1, 2010

Three draft Supplemental Environment Impact Statements (SEISs) for in situ leach (ISL) uranium recovery operations in Wyoming have been made available for public comment by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

The draft Supplemental Environment Impacts Statements are for license applications for Uranium One's Moore Ranch Project, Campbell County; the Lost Creek Project in Sweetwater County, proposed by Lost Creek ISR, LLC; and Uranerz Energy Corporation's Nichols Ranch Project, Campbell and Johnson Counties.
More Information:

NRC Press Release
Federal Register Notice - Moore Ranch
Federal Register Notice - Lost Creek
Federal Register Notice - Nichols Ranch


November 15 , 2009

New Denison Mines Tailings Cell Would Destroy
Ancient Cultural Resources

The new tailings impoundment that Denison Mines Corporation proposes for their uranium mill on White Mesa would cause the destruction of approximately 14 archeological sites on the Mesa. The original construction of the mill in southeastern Utah caused the destruction of pre-historic habitations and other sites where early residents of the four corners area lived and processed food that they had hunted and gathered. Cell 4B would impact over 50 acres. The archeological sites would be "mitigated," that is, the sites would be opened up and artifacts and other information about the sites would be gathered and placed in a museum. None of the artifacts collected in the late 1970s or early 1980s were ever put on display.

The Utah Division of Radiation Control (DRC) must develop an environmental assessment and approve a license amendment to construct the new tailings impoundment. The environmental assessment and draft amendment will be made available for public comment. If the DRC does not schedule a public hearing in Blanding, a hearing can be requested.

Application, Engineering Report, Environmental Report, and Cultural Resources Information

November 12 , 2009

NRC Notices Availability of Environmental Assessemtent for Lost Creek ISL Exemption

The Nuclear Regulatoy Commission (NRC) noticed the availabilty of the Environmental Assessment (EA) for a request for an exemption for the Lost Creek ISL Project (Docket Number 40-9068) in Sweetwater County, Wyoming. Comments on the draft EA are due on or before December 9, 2009. The request for the exemption was submitted to the NRC on July 2, 2009. The exemption would authorize Lost Creek ISR, LLC to conduct certain site preparation activities at, and in, the vicinity of its proposed ISR site.

Lost Creek’s March 2008 application for authorization to operate an in situ leach (ISL) uranium milling facility in Sweetwater County is also pending before the NRC.

Information
Federal Register Notice

October 28 , 2009

Withdrawal of Green River Water for
Nuclear Power Plant Protested

Uranium Watch and Living Rivers, along with numerous individuals, companies, organizations, and agencies filed protests or letters of concern with the Utah Division of Water Rights, challenging the San Juan County Water Conservancy District's request to transfer water rights from the San Juan River to the Green River. The 24,000 acre-feet (about 21,410,000 gallons per day) of water was leased to Transition Power Development (now Blue Castle Holdings Inc.). Blue Castle Holdings, Inc. (BHC) also leased 29,600 acre-feet of water from the Kane County Water Conservancy District, for a total of 53,600 acre-feet to be withdrawn from the Green River for a proposed 2-unit nuclear reactor (3,000 MW).

Protesters include ranchers, farmers, canal companies, and river expedition companies in Green River. These protesters are concerned about the adverse impacts to their use of Green River Water and impacts to recreational use due to the withdrawal of water from the river. The Center for Biological Diversity, HEAL Utah, Red Rock Forests, Uintah County Water Conservancy District, also protested. The US Fish and Wildlife Service submitted concerns about the impacts of the withdrawal on three threatened fish species. They are concerned that the impacts on threatened fish species would result in having to list them as endangered species, triggering additional federal actions and bringing the total to six endangered fish species in the Green River.

Read more . . . .
SJCWCD Change Application Protests
KCWCD Change Application Protests

October 9 , 2009

Transition Power Development LLC "Consolidates"
Holdings in Blue Castle Holdings Inc.

A September 28, 2009, News Release announced that Transition Power Development LLC will "consolidate its projects into Blue Castle Holdings Inc."

Blue Castle Holdings Inc. (BCH) claims that "it is a Utah based company reducing the risk of acquiring new power resources for the electric utilities." It is hard to get beyond the PR jargon on their new website.

Apparently, BCH intends to "effectively" mitigate and "significantly" reduce "the risks of developing new generating resources by accumulating the required assets to begin licensing a shovel ready site for the deployment of a new nuclear power production facility."

This accumlation of required assets includes the leasing of 53,600 acre-feet of water from the Kane County and San Juan County Water Conservancy Districts for the proposed reactors in Green River. In order to use the water, the State Engineer must approve the change applications submitted by the Districts. Already there are are questions regarding the advisability of moving water rights up stream, the amount of water available in the Upper Colorado River Basin, and the impacts to endangered fish species. See:

Division of Water Rights Public Meeting on Colorado River Basin Water Management Issues - September 2009 (Documents and Power Point Presentations)


September 22 , 2009

Department of Interior to Hold Meetings on
Withdrawal of Grand Canyon Land from New Mine Claims

The Bureau of Land Management, Department of Interior, will hold two meetings in Arizona on the July 20, 2009, withdrawal of lands in the Grand Canyon area from new mine claims:

September 30
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Fredonia Elementary School
221 East Hortt
Fredonia, Arizonia

October 15
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
High Country Conference Center
201 West Butler Ave.
Flagstaff, Arizona

Comments may also be submitted by October 24 to:
Bureau of Land Management
Arizona Strip District
345 East Riverside Drive
St. George, UT 84790

or e-mail to: azasminerals@blm.gov

Sierra Club Flyer

September 15 , 2009

Public Hearing on Modification of White Mesa Uranium Mill - Ground Water Discharge Permit No. UGW370004 - October 7

The Utah Division of Radiation Control (DRC) has noticed a Modification to the Denison Mines (USA) Corporation Ground Water Discharge Permit (UGW370004) for the White Mesa Uranium Mill. A hearing will be held October 7 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Blanding Arts and Events Center, 715 West 200 South, Blanding, Utah.  Written comments are due by 5 p.m. October 8.

Send Comments to the Division of Radiation Control, P.O. 144850, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4850; or e-mail to pgoble@utah.gov. Additional information may be obtained upon request by calling Phil Goble at (801) 536-4044 or via e-mail at pgoble@utah.gov.

Public Notice
Modification to Groundwater Discharge Permit (red line)
Statement of Basis
Attachment 1 - Final Report - Hurst and Soloman
Attachment 2 - URS Completeness Review
Attachment 3 - DRC Findings and Recommended Action

September 10 , 2009

Hearings on Protests of Water Appropriations for Mancos Uranum Mill and Daneros Uranium Mine -
October 1 in Moab, Utah

The State Engineer, Utah Division or Water Rights, will hold two hearing on the protests of appropriations of water for a uranium mine and uranium mill in Utah. The hearing will be held the morning of October 1, 2009, at the Grand County Council Chambers, 125 East Center, Moab, Utah. The informal hearings are open to the public, but will not be an opportunity for general public comment.

At 8:30 a.m. there will be a hearing on the protests of an appropriation of water for the Utah Energy Corporation's Daneros Uranium Mine in San Juan County. Uranium Watch and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance filed protests. Read more . . . .

At 9:30 there will be a hearing on the protests of Mancos Resources Inc. request for 800 acre-feet of water from the Green River for a Uranium Mill west of the City of Green River. Read more . . . .

September 4 , 2009

San Juan County Water Conservancy District Files
Application for Water for Nuclear Power Plant in Green River - Protests Due October 14

On August 27, 2009, the San Juan County Water Conservancy District (SJCWCD) filed a Change Application for 24,000 acre feet of water for the proposed nuclear power reactor in Green River, Utah.  The SJCWCD leased the water to Blue Castle Holdings Inc. (formerly Transition Power Development LLC) in November 2007.  The proposed changes to Water Right 09-492 are for the point of diversion, place of use, nature of use, and for reservoir storage. 

The nuclear reactor would use the water from the Green River.  The water would be piped from the river to the proposed site a few miles west of the City of Green River, just north of Interstate 70 and the Union Pacific/Amtrak railway.

In addition to the water from San Juan County, Blue Castle Holdings Inc. has leased 29,600 acre feet of water from the Kane County Water Conservancy District for the proposed nuclear reactor. The KCWCD filed a change application to the State Engineer in March 2009. Individuals, organizations, and federal agencies filed protests and letters of concern. The date for that hearing has not been set.

Protests and requests for a hearing must be filed with the State Engineer on or before October 14, 2009. An objection to the application must be readable and state the water right number (09-462) and filing number (a35874), reasons for objections, protestant's name and address, and any request for a hearing. A protest must be signed by the protesting party or representative. A protest may be faxed or sent electronically before 6 p.m. on October 14, AND a signed paper copy must also be sent in the mail - along with a $15.00 filing fee. Check should be made out to the Division of Water Rights.

Mail to:
Kent L. Jones
State Engineer
Division of Water Rights
P.O. Box 146300
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-6300

Fax to: 801-538-7467;
E-mail to: kellyhorne@utah.gov

These are informal proceedings pursuant to Rule R655-6-2 of the DWR.

Read more . . . .
KCWCD Change Application Protests

August 24 , 2009

NRC to Hold Public Workshops in Utah and
Maryland on Disposal of Depleted Uranium
and Other Unique Waste Streams

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will hold a workhop on September 23 and 14, 2009, at the Salt Lake City Marriott University Park, 480 Wakara Way. Salt Lake City. The workshops will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The NRC will solicit public views on major issues for the disposal of significant amounts of depleted uranium and other unique radioactive wastes. The workshops are part of a rulemaking process to specify a requirement for site-specific analyses for the disposal of such wastes and the development of regulatory guidance.

The workshop in Maryland will be held September 2 and 3 at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda, One Bethesda Metro Center, 7400 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

People wishing to attend the workshops in Maryland or Utah are encouraged to notify the NRC at least 10 days in advance by contacting:

Priya Yadav, at 301-415-6667, or Priya.Yadav@nrc.gov, or
Karen Pinkston, at 301-415-3650, or Karen.Pinkston@nrc.gov

Public comments may be submitted to Chief, Rulemaking and Directives Branch, Division of Administrative Services, Office of Administration, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Mail Stop TWB 5B01M, Washington, D.C., 20555-0001, or by fax at 301-492-3446. In addition, comments may be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov/ using docket ID NRC-2009-0257.
Comments must be submitted by October 30, 2009.

NRC Press Release - August 20, 2009
Federal Register Notice - June 24, 2009
The Federal Register Notice contains background information.
Maryland Workshop Notice and Agenda - September 2 and 3
Utah Workshop Notice and Agenda - September 23 - 24

August 19 , 2009

September 9 Public Hearing
on Piñon Ridge Uranium Mill Special Use Permit

The Montrose County Commission will hear additional comments on the proposed Piñon Ridge Uranium/Vanadium Mill Special Use Permit at a public hearing on Wednesday, September 9, 2009, at 9 a.m. The hearing will be at the Montrose County Fairgrounds and Event Center (Friendship Hall). The Special Use Permit application, information, and maps are available for review on the Montrose County web page for the Piñon Ridge Mill Special Use Permit; the Montrose County Planning and Development Department, 317 S. Second Street, Montrose, Colorado; and the Courthouse Annex, 300 Main St., Nucla, Colorado, during regular business hours.

There is still time to send letters to the Montrose County Commissioners before the hearing.

Montrose County Commissioners:
Address: 101 South Townsend Ave.
Montrose , Colorado 81401

CC office: 970-249-7755
Website: www.co.montrose.co.us

Gary Ellis: cell 970-596-1999; gellis@montrosecounty.net
Ron Henderson: 970-249-4; rhenderson@montrosecounty.net
David White: 970-240-3106; dwhite@montrosecounty.net

Steve White is the county planner 970-252-4550 swhite@montrosecounty.net

Montrose County Planning Commission is 970-249-6688.

Check out the Paradox Sustainability Website

Durango Herald's Four - Part Series: Coloradoans Grapple with Promise, Threat of Uranium

Part 1 - August 9, 2009

August 18 , 2009

Sonoran Institute Published Report: Uranium Mining, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation in Gateway, Colorado

The Sonoran Institute of Tuscon, Arizona, has published a report Uranium Mining, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation in Gateway, Colorado examining the potential conflicts between uranium mining and tourism and outdoor recreation in southwestern Colorado, particularly Mesa County. The report is authored by Josef E. Marlow, Ph.D., Land and Resource Economist. The report contains maps and beautiful pictures of the area and examines current and historic uranium mining, potential environmental impacts, and the potential adverse impacts of uranium mining to local and regional economies.

August 10 , 2009

Montrose County - Public Hearing on Piñon Ridge Uranium Mill - August 13 - Nucla, Colorado

Montrose County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on Energy Fuels Corporation Special Use Permit Application, Piñon Ridge Uranium/Vanadium Mill and Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility on Thursday, August 13, at the Nucla High School Gymnasium: 225 West 4th Street, Nucla, Colorado. The time of the hearing is 5:30. Sign-up to speak for three minutes at the hearing will be at 5:00 pm. For those of you representing a group you can have five minutes, plus your three as an individual.

July 21, 2009

Salazar Orders 2-year Withdrawal of Grand Canyon Land from New Mining Claims

Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar ordered the 2-year withdrawal of over 1 million acres of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and National Forest lands near the Grand Canyon from new hard-rock mining claims, including uranium mining claims. This will provide time for studies and analyses of a more lengthy withdrawal. Unfortunately, this will not halt the development of exisiting claims and previously permited uranium mining operations.

A July 21 Federal Register Notice announced an opportunity to comment and request a public meeting on the withdrawal by October 19, 2009. Comments and meeting requests should be sent to the District Manager, Bureau of Land Management, Arizona Strip District Office, 345 East Riverside Drive, St. George, Utah 84790-9000, or Forest Supervisor, Forest Service, Kaibab National Forest, 800 South Sixth St., Williams, Arizona 86046.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Scott Florence, District Manager, BLM Arizona Strip District, 435-688-3200, or Michael Williams, Forest Supervisor, Kaibab National Forest, 928-635-8200.

DOI News Release
New York Times Article
Map of Withdrawal Area

July 20, 2009

Proposed Exploratory Drilling in Manti-La Sal National Forest - Comments Due August 9

The Manti-La Sal National Forest proposes to authorize Colorado Plateau Partners to drill 11 exploratory holes 3 miles northwest of Old La Sal, in San Juan County, Utah. The Forest Service expects to issue a Categorical Exclusion. Comments should be received by August 9. Mail to the Moab/Monticello Ranger District, PO Box 820, Monticello, Utah 84535. For more information, contact Joel Nowak: 435-636-3364. Colorado Plateau Partners LLC is a Partnership between Energy Fuels Resource Corporation and Royal Resources Ltd., an Australian company. Energy Fuels has proposed a uranium mill in the nearby Paradox Valley in Colorado and uranium mine in La Sal, the Energy Queen.

Project Plans and Map

July 15, 2009

Utah BLM Grants Request for Review of
Daneros Mine FONSI and Decision Record

The Utah Bureau of Land Management (BLM) accepted two requests for State Director Review of the Monticello Field Office's Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) and Decision Record for the Daneros Uranium Mine Project. Uranium Watch (also on behalf of Red Rock Forests) and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) submitted requests for the review, and SUWA requested a stay.

The Utah Energy Corporation, a subsidiary of White Canyon Uranium Ltd., an Australian company, has proposed a uranium mine off of Hwy 95, in western San Juan County. The EPA issued the Environmental Assessment, FONSI, and Decision Record on May 26, 2009. The EA failed to consider the cumulative impacts from current, past, and expected uranium mining operations in the area and in the region. The BLM has always addressed impacts of uranium mining on BLM land on a site-by-site basis, never assessing the significant cumulative environmental impacts of decades of uranium mining on federal lands.

July 13, 2009

Gathering at Red Butte, Arizona
"United we stand to protect Mother Earth"

There will be a gathering in at Red Butte on July 25th and July 26th, 15 miles south of Tusayan, Arizona. Saturday night there will be a concert and traditionat community dinner at 6 pm. Sunday, there will be an all day Public Forum on Uranium Mining and Protecting Sacred Sites. Contact Andy Bessler of the Grand Canyon Sierra Club for more information. View Flier . . . .

July 8, 2009

Arizona DEQ to Take Comments on Canyon, Pinenut, and Arizona 1 Mine Permits - Hearing on July 22

On July 22, 2009, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) will be holding a pubic hearing to take comments on air and water quality permits associated with three uranium mines in the Grand Canyon area owned by Denison MInes Corporation, the owner of the White Mesa Uranium Mill in southeast Utah.

The hearing will take place at the Fredonia Elementary School, 221 East Hortt, Fredonia, Arizona. Comments may be submitted at the hearing or sent on or before July 22. Mail comments to Trevor Baggiore, Air Quality Section Manager, ADEQ, 1110 West Washington Street, 3415A-1, Phoenix, Arizona 85007 or via e-mail to tb4@azdeq.gov.

The ADEQ intends to issue an Air Quality Control Permit for the Arizona 1 Mine, about 35 miles south of Fredonia in Mohave County on the Arizona Strip. The ADEQ is also proposing to issue a Discharge Authorization for a General Aquifer Protection Permit for mine-water discharge impoundments at the Canyon Mine, about 56 miles northwest of Falgstaff in Coconino County, the Arizona 1 Mine, and the Pinenut Mine, 4 miles east of the Arizona 1 Mine. The Arizona 1 and Pinenut Mines are on Bureau of Land Managment (BLM) land; the Canyon MIne is on Forest Service Land. The BLM St. George Field Office in Utah, developed Environmental Assessments and approved the Arizona 1 and Pinenut Mines many years ago.

Denison MInes is also proposing to operate a new uraium mine in the vicinity of the Arizona 1 and Pinenut, called the Easy Mine. The BLM has stated that they will develop an Environmental Impact Statement for that mine operation.

The ADEQ draft permits and technical support documents can be viewed online, at the ADEQ Public Notice website.

Public Notice
BLM Environmental Assessments for Arizona 1 Mine (1988) and Pinenut Project (1986)

July 4, 2009

Commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of the Churchrock Uranium Tailings Spill - July 16

The Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment (MASE) will sponsor a full day of events in Churchrock and Gallup, New Mexico, to honor and remember the Diné communities that were impacted by the largest spill of radioactive materials in the U.S. - from the Churchrock Uranium Mill tailings impoundment in 1979.

Events will start at 7 am with a Prayer Walk on Hwy. 566. From 11 am to noon there will be a Commemoration Proclamation and Reaffirmation of the Navajo Nation's Uranium Mining Ban. Luncheon at the Churchrock Chapter from 12:15 to 2:30. Uranium Films and Panel Discussion will be presented at Calvin Hall, University of New Mexico Gallup Campus.

Press Release
Schedule of Events and Information

June 30, 2009

EPA Announces that it Will Be Reviewing and Potentially Revising its Health and Environmental Standards for Uranium and Thorium Milling Facilities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be reviewing and considering revisions to its regulations for uranium and thorium milling to bring them up-to-date. The regulations now in effect, 40 CFR Part 192, were originally issued in 1983 under the authority of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 (UMTRCA), and last revised in 1995. The National Environmental Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPS) for radon emissions from active uranium recovery facilities at 40 CFR Part 61, Subpart W, are also under review.

Information will be make available on the EPA TENORM webpage.

EPA Announcement

June 26, 2009

EPA to Hold Public Meeting in Canon City, Colorado
on Radon NESHAP for Uranium Mills

The Envirironmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold three public meetings to take input on their review of the National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for radon emissions from operating uranium mills (40 C.F.R. Part 61, Subpart W.)

The first meeting will be in Canon City, Colorado, from 6 p.m. to 9.p.m. on Tuesday, June 30, 2009. The meeting will be at the Quality Inn and Suites motel on Hwy. 50 and Dozier. Canon City is 2.5 hours from Denver, where the National Mining Association and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will have their annual Uranium Recovery Workshop in Denver on July 1 and 2. The EPA will also discuss the review of Subpart W at the workshop.

Over twenty years ago, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission recommended that the limit or standard be set at 2 pico Curies per square-meter per second (pCi/m2-sec). Instead, the EPA set the limit at 20 pCI/m2sec. The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 required EPA to review this standard and, if appropriate, revise it within ten years. EPA failed to perform this non-discretionary duty by 2001.

Due to concerns over air emission violations at the Cotter Uranium Mill in Canon City, Colorado, Colorado Citizens Against ToxicWaste (CCAT) and Rocky Mountain Clean Air Action began discussions in 2006/2007 with EPA, which ultimately led to the filing of a lawsuit filed on their behalf by the Energy Mineral Law Center.  They requested the radon-standard review from EPA, and public participation during the review through public meetings, teleconferences, and an internet Webinar.  The lawsuit is nearing final settlement.  In the meantime, EPA began the review after the lawsuit was filed, which will include this first public meeting in Canon City allowing participation from affected communities.  EPA chose this date because they were coming to Denver from Washington for the NRC/NMA Uranium Recovery Workshop.  There will also be quarterly call-in teleconferences and an internet Webinar.

An identical meeting will be held in conjunction with the semi-annual Western Mining Action Network (WMAN) meeting in Rapid City, South Dakota, in October 2009, and then another meeting in Blanding, Utah, sometime before June 2010. 

To read more about the EPA Subpart W radon NESHAPS Click Here

June 17, 2009

Comments on Air Quality Permit for La Sal Uranium Mines Due July 3 - Public Hearing July 7

The Utah Division of Air Quality is accepting comments on their Intent to Approve Denison Mines Corporation's request for an Approval Order for their uranium mines in La Sal, San Juan County, Utah. The mines are the Beaver Shaft, La Sal, Pandora, and Snowball, all of which are connected underground. The DAQ action is in response to the May 2008 Notice of Intent to Construct the Proposed La Sal Mines Project (as supplemented).

The DAQ Notice states that comments will be received on or before July 3, 2009. Mail comments to the Executive Secretary, Utah Division of Air Quality, 150 North 1950 West, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4820. Or e-mail comments to Maung Maung at mmaung@utah.gov by the end of business (6 p.m.) on July 3.

The Intent to Approve and the Denison MInes' Application gives the impression that Denison MInes is proposing to reactivate the La Sal uranium and vanadium mines. Actally, the mines, which were closed down in 1990, have already begun to operate. The Pandora began operation in April 2007 and the Energy Queen in late 2008. Radon is already being vented from the mine vents.

The Beaver Shaft Mine is 1/2 mile from the La Sal Elementary School. Radon from the mine is vented 1/4 mile from the school. Radon is a radioactive gas that must be vented from the mines so that the mine workers will not breath the radon. The radon can lodge in the lungs, break down into highly radioactive particles, which then expose the miner to gamma rays and alpha and beta particles and can lead to lung cancer.
Read More: Pandora Mine . . . .
Read More: La Sal Mine Complex . . . .
Photos:
Beaver Shaft
Beaver Shaft Vent 1
Beaver Shaft Vent 2
Beaver Shaft Vent 3
Pandora Mine Road Picture

NRC Issues Final GEIS for ISL Uranium Recovery -
Drops Plan for Site Specific EAs

Today the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a News Release announcing the availability of the Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) on In Situ Leach (ISL) uranium recovery operations. Originally, the NRC intended to develop site-specific Environmental Assessments (EAs) and tier off the GEIS when reviewing applications for new ISL opertions. The announcement discussed a change in that plan. In response to many comments from the public during the scoping and comment periods, the NRC realized that the development of site specific Supplemental EISs when reviewing new applications was more appropriate. After all, NRC regulations do require EISs for uranium recovery operations.

Many commenters pointed out to the NRC that the GEIS would not address many significant site-specific impacts, such as impacts to the ground water and cultural resources. The EIS process for new operations will allow citizens and entities to participate in the site- specific scoping and comment processes and prevent unnecessary delays with respect compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The final “Generic Environmental Impact Statement on In Situ Leach Uranium Milling Facilities,” NUREG-1910, will be available Friday on the NRC Web site at this address: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nuregs/staff/sr1910/.

For the draft EIS and other information, Click Here.

June 3, 2009

Protests of Water Use for Nuclear Power Plant
in Green River, Utah

Uranium Watch, along with several organizations and individuals, filed protests of the Kane County Water Conservancy (KCWCD) application to divert water from the Green River so that Transition Power Development LLC (TPD) can use the water for a proposed 2-unit nuclear reactor.  Uranium Watch joined Living Rivers and the Glen Canyon Group of the Sierra Club to submit a joint Protest and Request for Hearing to the State Engineer, Division of Water Rights (DWR). KCWCD proposes to with draw 29,600 acre-feet of water (over 2.5 million gallons per day) from the Green River for the proposed reactor.

HEAL Utah, Red Rock Forests, Center for Water Advocacy, the Utah and Local Green Parties, two Green River farming families, a commerical river recreation company, and the Center for Biological Diversity also submitted protests. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation submitted letters of concern.

The protests and documents related to the protest proceeding as it develops can be accessed on the DWR website. Click on "Select Related Information" menu arrow (in upper left, below "Utah Division of Water Rights") and choose "Scanned Documents." The index of scanned documents will appear (many documents are posted one page at a time); scroll to bottom of list for protest documents. Read More . . . .

 May 26, 2009

Monticello BLM Issues Final EA and FONSI
for Daneros Uranium Mine

The Monticello Field Office of the Bureau of Land Managment issued the Final Environmental Assessment (EA), Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), and Record of Decision for Utah Energy for the proposed Daneros Uranium MIne. The owner, Utah Energy Corporation proposes to mine 100,000 tons of ore in Bullseye Canyon off of Hwy. 95 in western San Juan County, Utah.

March 27, 2009

Division of Water Quality to Hold Hearing and Public Meeting on Energy Queen Mine in La Sal on April 6

Apparently, the Utah Division of Water Quality will hold both a hearing to receive public comments on the Ground Water Discharge Permit and a public meeting to answer questions regarding the Energy Queen Uranium Mine (former Hecla Shaft) on Monday, April 6, at the La Sal Community Center, La Sal, in San Juan County. The Community Center is on Hwy. 46 next to the La Sal School and a bit west of the La Sal Store. The hearing/meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Representatives of the Division of Water Quality; Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining; and the Energy Fuels Resources will be at the meeting. 

This is an opportunity for the community to present oral comments and express concerns regarding the Ground Water Discharge Permit and to ask questions about the reopening of the Energy Queen and the Denison MInes' Beaver Shaft Mine in La Sal. According to the Division of Air Quality, Energy Fuels Resources has not asked for an Air Quality Permit for the Energy Queen, nor have they contacted the Division of Air Quality for a determination of whether they would need a permit. 

The Utah Division of Air Quality is reviewing an application by Denision Mines Corporation for an Air Quality permit for the Beaver Shaft, which is close to the center of La Sal. The Beaver Shaft is is connected underground to and under the same mining permit as the La Sal and Snowball Mines.
DWQ Meeting Notice . . . . Read more . . . .

March 24, 2009

Denison MInes to Suspend Operation of White Mesa Mill and U.S. Uranium Mines

According to a March 19 Reuters article, Denison Mines Corporation will suspend its Sunday Mine (Colorado) and Rim Mine (Utah) operations and will likely shut the White Mesa Mill in May, once it produces the 500,000 pounds of uranum the company is under contract to produce in 2009. Denison recently announced a loss of $56.8 million (30 cents a share). Denison shares dropped 20 percent on March 17 after these announcements. Uranium was at $42.50 this week. It traded as high as $136 a pound on the spot market in 2007. Denison also operates the Pandora and Tony M Mines in Utah. The Bureau of Land Managment and Utah Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining are reviewing the application for commencing Phase II of the Tony M's operation. Dension also iwants to re-open an old mine (Beaver Shaft) at the edge of the small community of La Sal, Utah. Inspections of the White Mesa Mill by the Utah Division of Radiation Control and by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration show a pattern of inattention to compliance with regulatory standards and the health and safety of the workers.
Read Reuters article . . . .

March 17, 2009

Denison MInes Plans to Re-open Uranium MIne in the Town of La Sal, Utah

Denison Mines Corporation plans to re-open the Beaver Shaft Uranium Mine just north of the center of the town of La Sal in San Juan County, Utah. The mine is connected underground with the Pandora, La Sal, and Snowball Mines, also owned by Denision Mines. These operations are under the same Utah Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining permit. The Utah Diviision of Air Quality is reviewing a request for an air quality permit for the operations. There will be an opportunity for the public to comment on the permit and to request a hearing.

March 16, 2009

NRC to Hold Oral Arguments in
Crow Butte ISL Proceeding on March 24

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel will hold oral arguments for the renewal of the Crow Butte Resources, Inc. license for the in-situ leach facility in Crawford, Nebraska. Oral artuments will be held regarding issues related to the foreign ownership of the licensee. The proceeding will be held at the U.S. District Courthouse, Rapid City, South Dakota. Read Notice and Order . . . .

February 19, 2009

Blue Rock Resources Sells Subsidiary and U.S. Mineral Resources to Mancos Resources

Blue Rock Resources Ltd., a Canadian Company, announced the sale of their subsidiary, Bluerock Energy Corp., to Mancos Resources Inc. The sale includes all United States mineral claims, mineral claim options, leases and equipment, with the exception of the Skull Creek Project and a toll milling agreement with Denison MInes (USA) Ltd., the owner of the uranium mill on White Mesa, San Juan County, Utah. The sale price is $1, with Mancos assuming all assessets and liabilities. Mancos Resources has proposed the construction of a uranium mill near Green River, Utah. Press Release . . . . Read More . . . .

February 13, 2009

Transition Power Development Signs Escrow Agreement

Transition Power Development LLC (TPD) announced on February 2, 2009, that they had established an escrow account with Castleland Resource Conservation & Development Council, Inc., to facilitate the purchase of approximately 1,600 acres of land east of the town of Green River for the purpose of developing a nuclear power generating station. TPD is securing the land in order to continue site characterization studies that would be needed for the company to apply to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for an Early Site Permit Application or a Combined License Application. An early site permit application is for an approval of a site for one or more nuclear power facilities separate from the filing of an application for a construction permit or combined license for the facility. Regulations applicable to new reactor license applications are found at 10 C.F.R. Part 52 and in other NRC regulations. Press Release . . . . Read More . . . .

February 12, 2009

Utah Legislator Sponsors Legislation in
Support of Nuclear Power

Utah State Senator, David Hinkins (District 27) is sponsoring a Joint Resolution Supporting Nuclear Power in Utah (SJR016). Senator Hinkins relys on misinformation about the nuclear industry and disparages the develoment of clean, renewable energy. The resolution is designed to be supportive of a nuclear power plant a few miles west of the City of Green River, in Emery County, part of Senator Hinkins's District.

Utah Clean Energy is requesting the deletion of all references to renewal energy and the criticisms of the renewal energy industry that appear in the resolution.

Nuclear Fight Hits Capitol Hill (KSL News) . . . .
Additional News . . . .
2009 Utah Legislative Session . . . .

February 4, 2009

Uranium Watch Opens Office in Moab

Uranium Watch has opened an office in Moab, Utah, at 76 South Main Street, Suite 7. Office hours are generally from 1 to 5, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Phone 435-210-0166 during office hours and 435-259-4734 outside of office hours. Thanks to the Ben & Jerry's Foundation for a grant in support Uranium Watch's work.

January 15, 2009

Powertech Submits Application for
Underground Injection Well Permit for
Dewey-Burdock ISL Project

Powertech Corporation has submitted an application for a Class 3 Underground Injection Well (UIC) permit and an aquifer exemption request to Region 8 of theEnvironmental Protection Agency for their proposed Dewey-Burdock in situ leach (ISL)

uranium recovery project in South Dakota. Powertech will also submit an application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a uranium recovery license and to the South Dakota Department of Environmental and Natural Resources. Powertech News Release . . . .

January 10, 2009

Tribes to be Affected by Bush Administration's
Uranium Mining Decision

In early December 2008, the Bureau of Land Management, Department of Interior, eliminated a regulation that gave two congressional committees the power to direct the Secretary of Interior to exclude specific pubic lands from extractive industry development, including uranium mining. The move was focused to facilitate the resumption of uranium mining activities in the area of the Grand Canyon. The Hualapai and Havasupai Tribes are particularly concerned that renewed uranium mining in on public lands on the Grand Canyon threatens the health and well being of their communities due to pollution of air, soil, and water. Read more . . .

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Updated March 10, 2010


Uranium Watch • 435-259-9450 • 76 S Main, #7 • PO Box 344 • Moab, Utah 84532