User uShare Login | Register
Login
Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.


13° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

Share your Photos, Videos, and Stories on uShare! Click here to get started.

News

[0] My Saved Articles
Back to all news

Business

Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

NRC Panel Hears from Public On Edgemont Uranium Mine

August 18, 2014, 6:17 PM by Kevin Woster

NRC Panel Hears from Public On Edgemont Uranium Mine
HOT SPRINGS, SD -

A panel for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is in Rapid City this week for a three-day hearing on the licensing of a proposed uranium mine near Edgemont. But even before the hearing began, members of the panel traveled to Hot Springs, closer to the proposed mine, to take public comments on the controversial issue.

The NRC's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel got a preview of some of the issues to be discussed during a public meeting at the civic center in Hot Springs.

The key issues for consideration by the panel are water-pollution worries by project opponents, contentions by Native Americans that cultural resources aren't being properly considered and protected, and whether geological data Powertech Uranium has from previous uranium operations in the Edgemont area should be made public.

But the panel got warmed up by listening to public opinions on the perceived benefits and threats of injecting a water solution deep underground to extract uranium, in a process similar to fracking. Opponents argue that groundwater pollution is virtually guaranteed.

Jim Petersen of Rapid City said that despite assurances from Powertech that important aquifers will be protected, the very process is full of opportunities for underground leaks.

"It's a toxic witch's brew of radio-nuclei and heavy metals that's going to drive down gradient, forever," Petersen said.

Petersen and other project foes worry that underground fissures and thousands of old test holes in the project area northwest of Edgemont will allow escaped pollutants to contaminate ground water supplies.

"That means this is going to contaminate potable water down gradient year after year, forever," Petersen said.

Powertech officials contend that aquifers to be most affected by the mining operation are already degraded by natural pollutants. They say "mining" system of injection-extraction wells maintains a pressure that contains the injection solution and the uranium and other potential contaminants to the well field.

Edgemont Mayor Carl Shaw says he has faith in government regulators, Powertech officials and modern-mining techniques to protect the groundwater supplies.

"I feel it's a safe project. They're doing the same thing in Nebraska and Wyoming," Shaw said. "I don't see why we can't do it in South Dakota."

Shaw also adds that Edgemont needs the economic boost the uranium mining could bring.

"It would greatly increase our tax base, bring more people into the community and help with our school district, city, even our county," he said.

Depending, of course, on what the NRC decides.

The NRC staff has given a tentative go-ahead to the project by issuing what amounts to a preliminary license. That has been contested by project opponents, who will make their arguments during the hearings this week.

The panel is expected to make its decision on the issue by mid-November. But that ruling could be appealed to the full NRC.

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments





Sponsored
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View business

You may also like

Other Place Bar And Grill Closed In Sioux Falls

2/24/2015 12:51 PM

According to its Facebook page, The Other Place Bar and Grill has closed. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.g...

Full Story
Touch Of Europe Permanently Closed

2/25/2015 4:29 PM

The Touch of Europe restaurant will be closed for good.

Full Story
Sioux Falls Approaching 'Magic Number'

2/23/2015 10:10 PM

It's a number that can support bigger businesses, more retail and restaurants.

Full Story | Watch
Pizza Restaurant Coming To Downtown Sioux Falls

2/25/2015 11:40 AM

Montana-based MacKenzie River Pizza is scheduled to open its first South Dakota location on September 1 at 11th Street and Main Avenue.

Full Story
Catholic School Tuition Hike Largest In Years

2/25/2015 3:10 PM

Sioux Falls Catholic Schools are facing a $5 million gap between tuition and what it cost to run the schools.  

Full Story | Watch


Events