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September 27, 2012
Uranium mining in Wyoming
Wyoming is believed to have the largest uranium reserves in the United States, and the state is at the center of what industry insiders consider a uranium renaissance. Mines employ hundreds of Wyomingites. Suppliers and contractors are also part of the industry. “Those are good jobs and they have good benefits,” U.S. Sen. John Barrasso (R) said. “People like working there. It’s good for our economy to have a robust uranium industry.”
Source: Laura Hancock (Casper Star-Tribune), " Federal uranium stockpile sales still spark concern", Casper Star-Tribune, Sept 27, 2012
Highland has requested an expansion of the site long-term surveillance and monitoring (LTSM) boundaries. The company has apparently purchased additional land. NRC issued a Request for Additional Information considered necessary to review the Highland application. In addition to requesting more detailed maps, and information about who owns the subsurface rights to the land, NRC requested Highland to reassess the selenium toxicity risk to migratory birds that may use the Highland Pit Lake. Here's the excerpt from the RAI that deals with this matter:
RAI-Impact of Pit Lake on Migratory Birds
After reviewing the licensee’s ecological assessment report, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) concluded that the report does not adequately support the conclusion of insignificant effects to migratory birds. FWS contends that the ecological assessment overlooks or excludes a number of important factors that would likely have an impact on any conclusions. FWS asserts that the report has a number of shortcomings and that the licensee’s conceptual site model is inadequate because: (i) it does not include likely possible receptors, (ii) quantification of aquatic biomass may be misleading due to inappropriate collection of methods, and (iii) any quantification of bird nesting or hatching success is absent. Consequently, the license application does not provide an adequate ecological assessment. Please reassess the selenium toxicity risk to migratory birds that may use the Highland Pit Lake, focusing on the deficiencies identified above.
Source: USNRC Request for Additional Information—ExxonMobil Highland Project, attachment to letter to ExxonMobile Environmental Services Company, June 25, 2012
June 25, 2012
Highland Reclamation Project - Highland Uranium Mine and Mill Site located in Converse County, Wyoming
Mr. Mahesh Vidyasagar, Project Manager
NRC project manager
June 24, 2012
* [uranium mining-US-Wyoming] Southwest Wyoming adding more uranium mining to its already rich minerals industry, Ryan James Rock Springs Rocket-Miner, thanx @NuclearUpdate
February 7, 2008
This is from the front page of today's Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, of Cheyenne.
October 25, 2006
Uranerz Energy Plans to Mine Wyoming Uranium by 2010
April 16, 2005
High uranium prices prompt expansion of Wyoming mine
Global uranium production is 90 million pounds annually, while consumption is 175 million pounds by the 435 reactors in the world. Thirty-five more reactors are under construction in China, Taiwan, India, Brazil and Eastern Europe, which will further increase demand. International Nuclear Inc., an independent consulting organization based in Golden, Colo., recently released a report which stated that worldwide demand is increasing while stockpiles are nearing depletion. "The outlook for nuclear power has changed dramatically toward the positive since 2000," the report states. " ... The market for natural uranium concentrates has evolved from a market driven by excess secondary supplies to one driven by primary production. This change is not fleeting, but fundamental." The study predicts that uranium needs will jump from 175 million pounds per year to about 185 million by 2010 and 200 million by 2018. Prices will rise through 2006 before moderating in 2007, then remain stable from 2010 to 2018, the report forecast.
In the midst of the uranium mining industry's two-decade slump, Wyoming lawmakers exempted producers from paying state severance taxes until prices averaged at least $14 per pound for six months. That threshold was reached last year, and since then, the state has collected $290,221, according to the Wyoming Department of Revenue. Of that, $119,821 was collected from November through January, the most recent reported quarter. While the total is paltry compared to the hundreds of millions of dollars in mineral taxes paid by the state's energy giants -- coal, natural gas and oil -- it certainly indicates a revival for uranium, one that experts say shows no immediate signs of stalling. Mineral severance taxes collected by the state are distributed to a number of entities based on a statutory formula. Among the recipients are highways, schools, water projects, the state General Fund and local governments, meaning Converse County, home to the Smith Ranch mine (Wyoming's only active uranium mine), will also receive a share. The county will further benefit from increased "ad valorem" tax revenues, which are essentially property taxes on mining that are retained by the county where production occurs. Because of a lag between collection and distribution, any benefit from the higher prices won't be realized by Converse County until next year, County Treasurer Joel Schell said. ... Yellowcake prices plummeted to $7.10 per pound in December 2000 but have risen steadily since and last year surpassed $20 for the first time since 1984. This week, the spot price was $23.20, according to the Ux Consulting Co., of Roswell, Ga., up 20 cents from the previous week.
June 26, 2003
Warren Peak survey results
Crook County, Wyoming Commissioner Floyd Canfield told Casper Star-Tribune reporter that he and his fellow commissioners have received extensive briefings about the radioactive contamination at the closed radar site on Warren Peak and he foresees no environmental problem with the site. Air Force officials compare the site's radioactive emissions to the natural radioactive emission of a Coleman lantern's mantle. "We're confident that it is safe," Canfield said. Federal officials will present results of soil and well sampling at public meeting at Crook County courthouse tonight. [Source: Brodie Farquhar (Casper Star-Tribune staff writer), "Radiation report due tonight", Casper (Wyoming) Star-Tribune, June 26, 2003]
January 2, 2003
Warren Peak site added to Federal Agency Hazardous Waste Compliance Docket
The world's only nuclear-powered radar site operated on a picturesque peak in Wyoming during 1962-1968. It was powered by one of the Army's portable reactors. A 12,000-gal tank, intended to hold contaminated water from the reactor, began to leak, prompted closure of the site and removal of tank and reactor. Contamination by the radioactive fission product Cesium-137 has been identified within a few hundred feet of the tank's location, according to Tim Pavek, a cleanup expert based at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota. If you're ever in northeast Wyoming, you might want to stop by the Crook County Museum in Sundance. It has a scale model of the reactor and a "good-sized file about it", according to museum director Michelle Ramos. Pavek to the Casper Tribune reporter that the radar base was one of 100 or so stations lined along the northern tier of states in the 1950s and 1960s, designed to detect missiles that might someday come over the North Pole from the Soviet Union. [Source: Brodie Farquhar (Casper Star-Tribune staff writer), " Sundance reactor site may require cleanup", Casper (Wyoming) Star-Tribune, January 21, 2003] Danny Galixy has web-posted some nice photos of his visit to the peak, including one of the radar site location.