URANIUM WATCH

A Uranium Mining,
Milling, and Nuclear
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and Action Project

Moab, Utah



WISE URANIUM PROJECT

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Small Modular
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REGULATORY
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WISE Uranium Project



SEPTEMBER 2020


UTAH DIRECT ENERGY FUELS TO RECLAIM THE
SNOWBALL MINE WASTE ROCK PILE IN LA SAL

By Letter of September 2, 2020, the Utah Division of Oil, Gas & Mining (DOGM) informed Energy Fuels Resources (USA) Inc. of the need to reclaim the Snowball Mine, part of the La Sal Mines Complex, a complex of 4 uranium mines in the La Sal Mountains in southeast Utah. DOGM requested that Energy Fuels submit a schedule, including interim steps, for reclamation of portions of the Snowball Mine no longer needed for mining operations and complete the reclamation no later than November 30, 2021.

Energy Fuels has not used the waste rock pile near the Snowball portal for many years. Utah Rule R647-4-107.6 requires that surface areas be reclaimed when no longer needed.

DOGM also issued a Conditional Approval of Amended Notice of Intention for the expansion of the Pandora Mine and combining the Beaver Shaft, La Sal, and Snowball Mines (M0370026) with the Pandora Mine (M0370012) to create a new mine, the La Sal Mines Complex. The La Sal Mines Complex permit number will be M0370026.


AUSTRALIAN COMPANY CONDUCTS UNAUTHORIZED
EXPLORATION WORK IN EAST CANYON

Recent TNT Mines USA Ltd. news releases describe uranium exploration work in East Canyon in southeast Utah, between Hwy. 191 and Lisbon Valley.
TNT has been going into old underground workings to take rock samples without filing the required exploration notices with the Utah Division of Oil, Gas & Mining and Bureau of Land Management.

Over 200 mine claims in East Canyon and Dry Valley belong to Vanacorp USA LLC, the US subsidiary of Vanacorp Aust. TNT has, or intends to, acquire Vanacorp. Uranium Watch alerted the state and federal agencies of TNT's announcements, and they are looking into TNT and its exploration activites.

TNT News Releases:

https://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20200814/pdf/44lhlnj42tb6vt.pdf
https://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20200811/pdf/44lczx5qs843vl.pdf
https://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20200805/pdf/44l6ld2pp4p3m1.pdf

Video: https://stockhead.com.au/stockhead-tv/v-con-uranium

JULY 2020


STOP FEDERAL BAILOUT OF URANIUM INDUSTRY

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the uranium industry want the Congress to appropriate $150 million in 2021 to establish a uranium stockpile. The stockpile would cost tax-payers a total of $1.5 billion over a period of 10 years. This is part of a larger effort, spearheaded by Energy Fuels Inc., the Canadian company that owns and operates the White Mesa Uranium Mill in southeast Utah.

WRITE TO THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS MEMBERS:
View MEMBER LIST HERE

WRITE TO THE HOUSE COMMiTTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS MEMBERS:
VIew MEMBER LIST HERE

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION RE REVIVAL OF THE URANIUM INDUSTRY - VIEW HERE

JUNE 2020

URGE THE STATE OF UTAH NOT TO ACCEPT FOREIGN RADIOACTIVE WASTE IN UTAH
COMMENTS DUE JULY 10

Urge the State of Utah not to accept the Silmet radioactive waste from Estonia for processing and disposal at the White Mesa Uranium Mill, San Juan County.

Utah should not become the dumping ground for imported waste that foreign countries are unwilling or unable to safely dispose of.

COMMENT FORM (Grand Canyon Trust) - View HERE

GCT BLOG - “European Waste Could Land Near Bears Ears - View HERE

COMMENT PERIOD FOR WHITE MESA MILL
LICENSE AMENDMENT - EXTENDED TO JULY 10

The Utah Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control has extended the time to submit public comments on Amendment #10 to the White Mesa Uranium Mill License to July 10.

> Public Notice of Extension - View HERE
> License and Application Documents - View HERE
> License Amendment #10 Documents - View HERE

Recent Media

> KZMU, "Sarah Fields of Uranium Watch on This Week in Moab" -
Listen HERE
> Salt Lake Tribune, "Radioactive Waste from Estonia may soon be comming to San Juan County Mill" - View HERE
> KUER, "White Mesa Has Become a Dumping Ground for Radioactive Waste, Trbe and Advocates Say" - View HERE
> Catalyst Communications, “Utah Poised to Import Radioactive Waste from Estonia” - View HERE

THE CARBON-FREE NUCLEAR POWER HOAX
NUCLEAR MONITOR ARTICLE

NuScale, the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, U.S. Department of Energy, and the nuclear industry in general have been promoting the idea that nuclear power is a Carbon Free and an answer to global climate change. They ignore the complete nuclear fuel chain necessary to produce fuel; manufacture, construct, operate, and maintain nuclear power houses; decommission reactors and permanently store of high-level and low-level nuclear waste; and the need to keep uranium mill tailings and irradiated nuclear fuel under government control forever to protect public health and safety and the environment.

A recent article in the Nuclear Information and Resource Services (NIRS) Nuclear Monitor (NM886), entitled, “CO2 emissions of nuclear power: the whole picture,” by Jan Willem Storm van Leeuwen, provides a thoughtful analysis of the CO2 emissions associated with the production of nuclear power. The report concludes: “The view that nuclear power is free of CO2 emissions turns out to be a fallacy, originating from disregarding construction, operation, maintenance, upstream processes and downstream processes of a nuclear power plant.”

ACRS LETTER IDENTIFIES NUSCALE DESIGN ISSUES

The Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) official letters to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, itself, identify and discuss unresolved issues related to the NuScale Power LLC Design Certification Application (DCA) for their proposed 12-unit Small Modular Reactor Design.

In a June 1, 2020, Letter the Commission, the ACRS identified a number design issues, underlying omissions, and uncertainties that call into question the completeness of the Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) for the NuScale Design. These include issues related to boron dilution, emergency core cooling system (ECCS) valve performance, uncertainty and sensitivity evaluations, human errors of commission, multi-module risk, helical-tube steam generator design, and combustible gas monitoring

Additional information regarding the ACRS’s evaluation of the DCA will be provided in the transcript of the June 3-5, 2020, ACRS meeting and the July 8-19 and 21-23 Meetings and the Final ACRS letter report.

> ACRS Meetings and Transcripts - View HERE
> ACRS Letter Reports - View HERE

MAY 2020

ELECTRONIC HEARING
WHITE MESA MILL LICENSE AMENDMENTS

The Utah Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control (DWMRC) will hold a public hearing on Amendments to the White Mesa Uranium Mill materials license and groundwater discharge permit on May 20, 2020, from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. The first portion of the hearing will be for the hearing requestor and any other party that sent questions to the DWMRC in regard to proposed License Amendment #10.

Members of the public who are not participating in the hearing may listen at the links below. At the conclusion of the hearing members of the public may give oral comment on the proposed licensing and permitting actions.

Join by Internet: https://meet.google.com/uxk-auwm-igh
Join by phone: +1 470-327-0868 - PIN: 863 713 740#

If you have any questions, contact Ryan Johnson at (801) 536-4255 or <rmjohnson@utah.gov>.

> License Amendment Documents- View HERE
> Hearing Notice - View HERE

RESPONSES TO DOE REQUEST FOR INFORMATION RE THE RECONSTITUTION OF THE URANIUM INDUSTRY

The Department of Energy (DOE) has posted 39 comments by interested organizations and the uranium industry to the DOE’s “Request for Information [RFI] Regarding Key Challenges in Reconstituting Uranium Mining and Conversion Capabilities in the United States.” The comments include those by Uranium Watch, Grand Canyon Trust, NRDC, and uranium mine and mill owners in San Juan County.

> DOE RIF Docket and Comments- CLICK HERE
> President’s Nuclear Working Group News Release and Report, April 23, 2020 - CLICK HERE

NUSCALE TO CHANGE SMR DESIGN - DELAYING NRC APPROVAL SCHEDULE

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has extended the date for completion of Phase 5 of the NuScale Power LLC Design Certification (DC) review by 5 weeks— from June 23 to July 31, 2020. The extension is needed to give the NRC staff and the NRC Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) time to review design changes related to the NuScale Small Modular Nuclear Reactor (SMR) Emergency Core Cooling System (ECCS) Boron Distribution. NuScale is in the process on submitting significant changes to the design, which are due on May 20.

In February 2020, NuScale informed the NRC that it intended to initiate changes to the DC design. The NRC held public meetings on March 9, April 1, and April 15 with NuScale related to the design change for the Emergency Core Cooling System (ECCS) Boron Distribution and related design changes. The Meeting Summaries and NuScale and NRC presentations provide schedules and information about the changes. The DC design changes are different than those that will be part of the Standard Design Approval Application (SDAA).

> May 1 NRC Letter to NuScale - CLICK HERE
> March 9 NRC Meeting Summary - CLICK HERE
> April 1 NRC Meeting Summary - CLICK HERE
> April 15 NRC Meeting Summary - CLICK HERE
> April 29 ACRS Letter Report - CLICK HERE

APRIL 2020

WHITE MESA MILL LICENSE AMENDMENTS
COMMENT OPPORTUNITY
Comments Due - June 5
Electronic Public Hearing - May 20

The Utah Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control (DWMRC) has issued a PUBLIC NOTICE providing an opportunity to comment on changes and amendments to the White Mesa Uranium Mill License (RML UT1900479) and Groundwater Quality Discharge Permit (Permit UGW370004). The Licensee is Energy Fuels Resources (USA) Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of the Canadian company, Energy Fuels Inc.

Written comments should be directed either by correspondence to the DWMRC mailing address at P.O. Box 144880, Salt Lake City, UT 84114-4850, street address at 195 North 1950 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, or by email to dwmrcpublic@utah.gov. Comments sent via email should be identified by putting the following in the subject line: Public Comment on White Mesa RML Renewal. Contact (Email): Ryan Johnson <rmjohnson@utah.gov>.

An electronic public hearing has been requested and will be held on Wednesday May 20, 2020, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

See Public Notice for Comment Submission and Public Hearing Details.

Changes to the License Include:

1. Modified License Condition 10.5. The proposed modification changes the limit of the 5,000 cubic yards of 11e.(2) material from a single source In-Situ Leach (ISL) facility to an annual limit of 10,000 cubic yards per year to be placed in the Mill’s tailings impoundments. It also allows an unlimited amount of 11e.(2) material from ISL facilities owned by the Licensee and uranium recovery facilities within the State of Utah provided there is adequate volume available in the tailings impoundments.

2. New License Condition 10.10, which will authorize the Licensee to accept mineral processing waste (called alternate feed material) from Silmet, Estonia.

3. New License Condition 10.12, which will authorize the Licensee to accept additional alternate feed material from the Union Pacific Railroad Moffat Tunnel located in Colorado.

See Public Notice Website for redline/strike out Licenses, Statements of Basis, and Technical Evaluation and Environmental Analyses.

> DWMRC Public Notices
> White Mesa Mill License Amendment Requests

UAMPS CONTINUES TO MISLEAD ITS MEMBERS
AND THE PUBLIC

The Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) continues to mislead their Members and the public regarding the proposed NuScale Design Small Modular Nuclear Reactor (SMR) to be sited at the Idaho National Lab.

The UAMPS 2019 Annual Report for states that the SMR project “will include 12 individual 60-megawatt [MWe] modules, producing a gross output of 720 megawatts of electricity.” UAMPS makes no mention of the fact that the NuScale Design Certification Application, which is currently under review by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), is for 12 individual 50-MWe modules, producing a gross output of 600 MWe. To gain approval of a 25% power up-rate NuScale Power LLC plans to submit a Standard Design Approval (SDA) application (SDAA) to the NRC.

According to NRC staff, UAMPS cannot submit a Combined Operating License Application (COLA) for a NuScale-design 720 MWe SMR, which will reference the SDA, until NuScale submits its SDAA. The NRC cannot approve the NuScale License for a 720 MWe SMR until the NRC finalizes its approval of the NuScale SDAA.

The UAMPS November 2019 Budget and Plan of Finance for the project provides an anticipated timeline, which states that the 1st Phase Licensing Period (Application Submittal) will end May 2020 and the Combined Construction and Operating License (COL) would be issued in June 2023. The NuScale SDAA timeline, as presented to NRC staff in a public meeting, is for the submittal of the SDAA in the 4th quarter of 2021, and NRC approval and issuance of the Safety Evaluation Report the 1st Quarter of 2024. Therefore, given the NuScale's expected SDA timeline, the UAMPS COLA could not be submitted to the NRC before the 4th Quarter 2021, and could not be approved before, the 1st Quarter 2024.

ENERGY FUELS USES COVID-19 PANDEMIC TO
FURTHER ITS OWN AGENDA

Energy Fuels Resources (USA) Inc., owner of White Mesa Uranium Mill and uranium mines in Utah, Arizona, and Colorado, is egregiously using the current COVID-19 pandemic to promote a bailout for the uranium industry. In a March 27, 2020, Letter to the President, Energy Fuels and UR Energy, both Canadian-based companies, incorrectly argue that the current COVID-19 crisis threatens U.S. supplies of uranium.

The companies seek relief, including the federal purchase of uranium to create a critical minerals stockpile. The letter states, “America’s uranium miners need immediate assistance to avoid permanent job losses,” yet Energy Fuels’ uranium mines have not produced ore for 7 years or more. Before the must recent uranium boom (2006-2013), Energy Fuels uranium mines were idle for 18 years or more.

The federal government and the uranium industry should put miners to work reclaiming non-producing and abandoned uranium mines.

UW SUBMITS COMMENTS TO DOE IN OPPOSITION TO
URANIUM INDUSTRY REVIVAL

On March 30, 2020, Uranium Watch submitted Comments to the Department of Energy (DOE) in response to the DOE “Request for Information [RFI] Regarding Key Challenges in Reconstituting Uranium Mining and Conversion Capabilities in the United States.”

The RFI was based on the false assumption that the significant challenges faced by the domestic uranium industry are issues of national security, and the U.S government should take action and expend money and resources to support and revive the industry.

Comments will eventually be posted on the Docket at the government regulations Website (DOE-HQ-2020-0016). Sixteen comments were received from the industry and the public.

MARCH 2020

DOE REQUESTS INFORMATION RE CHALLENGES IN RECONSTITUTING URANIUM MINING AND CONVERSION CAPABILITIES

NEED FOR RESPONSES IN OPPOSITION TO URANIUM INDUSTRY REVIVAL

On February 24, 2020, the Department of Energy (DOE) published a Request for Information [RFI] Regarding Key Challenges in Reconstituting Uranium Mining and Conversion Capabilities in the United State. 85 Fed. Reg. 10424, February 24, 2020.

The comment period was extended to March 30. 85 Fed. Reg. 14189; March 11, 2020. Comments and information due on March 30, 2020.

See the February 24 Notice for methods to submit comments by Mail, e-mail, Federal Register Notice links above, or the Government Regulation website for Docket ID: DOE_FRDOC_0001-3946.

This RFI was clearly meant for uranium and nuclear industry response. It is based on the belief that the uranium industry faces significant challenges in producing uranium domestically, this is an issue of national security, and the U.S government should take action and expend money and resources to support and revive the industry.

According to the RFI, on December 20, 2019, in the Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (Pub. L. 116-94, page 37), DOE was requested to contract not later than 60 days after enactment with a Federally-Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) or other independent organization to work with industry to identify key challenges in reconstituting mining and conversion3 capabilities in the United States. The FFRDC or independent organization shall provide a report of its findings and recommendations directly to the Committees on Appropriations of both Houses of Congress not later than 180 days after enactment of this Act.

There are many individuals, organizations, tribal members and tribal entities, and other interested and affected parties who have and will continue to face significant challenges due to the past, current, and possible future domestic production of uranium. Land, water, air, worker and community health, and sacred landscapes will continue to be negatively impacted. There will be adverse impacts as a result of any federal actions in support of the uranium industry, which must be identified and considered.

Impacted and interested individuals and entities are urged to provide comments related to challenges they face from uranium mining and conversion industries. Other voices must be heard.

Uranium mining and milling is a dirty, poorly regulated industry. It has cost tax-payers billions; left areas of contaminated lands, air, and water; caused adverse health impacts death and to workers and nearby community members; destroyed significant cultural resources; and left a legacy of un-remediated and inadequately remediated mine and mill sites. That’s just for starters.

The only way to revive the industry is the expenditure of public funds, through price supports, purchasing uranium for an unneeded and costly “stockpile,” or other misguided expenditures. The Trump Administration has proposed developing a uranium stockpile at the cost of $1.5 billion over a period of 10 years. Meanwhile, there are hundreds of abandoned uranium mines associated with the atomic weapons program that have not been remediated.

DIV. OF OIL, GAS & MINING MINERAL FILES - Click HERE


Energy Fuels SEDAR Financial Reports - Click HERE


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Last Updated September 10, 2020

 

 


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