Saturday, June 6, 2015

EPA enacts stronger monitoring of Wyoming uranium mines

Following a Wyoming Public Radio story in situ uranium mining sites like one in Johnson County will see stricter scrutiny under new guidelines enacted by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Research on the process is ongoing in Los Alamos, New Mexico and at the University of Colorado.
The EPA’s proposed rule change would set a three-year monitoring standard, followed by 30 years of stability monitoring. Companies could decrease the 30-year monitoring minimum by providing sufficient evidence of the well field’s long-term stability. The EPA contends that current regulations were set before in situ recovery was developed and do not take the unique risks of that extraction method into account. According to the proposed rule, current remediation standards do not address the long-term possibility of the radioactive mineral impacting groundwater and surface water. Further, Proposed Rule 192 does not hold the uranium licensee fiscally responsible for clean up should long-term contamination as a result of ISR occur, the rule says. [Buffalo Bulletin]
In other radioactive news, one community in eastern Montana wants to build a dump for waste from the Bakken oil patch.

Azarga, the company that wants to mine yellowcake in the southern Black Hills reports that one of its investee companies, Anatolia Energy Limited, announced a proposed takeover by Uranium Resources Inc. Azarga's investment is valued at $3.2 million.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Azarga have filed petitions for review of the April 30, 2015 decision of the United States Atomic Safety and Licensing Board to rule on contentions raised by the Oglala Sioux Tribe about the Dewey Burdock Uranium Project.

Radioactive decay is the heat source for geothermal water: Wyoming and other Mountain West states should leave uranium, thorium and potassium in the ground then generate electric power using naturally produced steam. Fall River and Custer Counties in South Dakota have that potential so does Buffalo, just like many other communities in Wyoming do.

No comments: