Wednesday, April 1, 2015

New Mexico uranium enrichment given green light; SD tribes ignored on Dewey Burdock

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has given approval for URENCO USA to double its capacity at a nuclear enrichment facility near Eunice, New Mexico.
It also means the company can store more raw and depleted uranium on site and can re-feed uranium tails left over after the enrichment process back through their centrifuges to recover more enriched uranium for nuclear fuel. [Las Cruces Sun-News]
South Dakota, another red state attempting to nullify federal health care law and where Republican legislators like Don Kopp confuse federal scientists' findings on climate change with ass-trologic forces, the hubris in eliminating state-sponsored public comment on in situ uranium extraction while the GOP is actively smothering the EPA, is nothing short of stupefying.

The Oglala Lakota Nation is suing to protect the Inyan Kara Aquifer.
In releasing a “Preliminary Economic Assessment of the Dewey-Burdock Uranium ISR Project” on March 14, a company that wants to be the first to mine for uranium in South Dakota’s underground water table omitted any mention of the Oglala Sioux tribal government’s staunch legal battle against the proposal. Clean Water Alliance is urging citizens to request a public hearing in the vicinity of the proposed Dewey-Burdock operation, also close to Cameco Inc.’s Crow Butte area solution mines and mills south of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in northwest Nebraska. [Native Sun News, posted at Indianz]
The Albuquerque Journal reports that NM Governor Susana Martinez' campaign staff includes at least one member of the scrum Heather Wilson used in her failed US Senate bid. Wilson, now President of South Dakota School of Mines, wants to bury radioactive waste in South Dakota:
The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology announced Thursday a partnership with RESPEC, a local mining and energy company, to conduct experiments in the Pierre shale formation east of Rapid City to better understand how the rock formation behaves during mining. The research would examine how the formation might work for storage of energy products and disposal of waste. The waste disposal could be used for byproducts of fracking operations like flowback water or slurries from drilling, which can pick up radioactive elements that are naturally occurring in the ground, said Lance Roberts, RESPEC senior vice president. He said it could also be used for radioactive waste like from nuclear energy operations. School of Mines President Heather Wilson said the next step is to begin developing initial experiments as well as working to leverage the investment from the state to increase funding from other sources, like the federal government and private industry. [Jennifer Naylor Gesick, Rapid City Journal]
When Black Hills Corp. greases candidates like Heather Wilson while South Dakota's Board of Minerals and Environment makes conflicts of interest harder to find and the Public Utilities Commission is stacked with Republicans, the blur of the revolving door is vertiginous .

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