Energy policy — nuclear: A look at the current state of the uranium industry in western Colorado

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Here’s an in-depth look at the proposed Piñon Ridge mill and George Glasier a long-time uranium industry worker, rancher and the owner of Energy Fuels, from Penny Stine writing for The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. Click through and read the whole thing. Here’s an excerpt:

Uranium prices began climbing in 2000. By 2005, Glasier decided to jump back into the uranium business and formed Energy Fuels, naming the new company after the old one as a tribute to the reputation of the former company and its founder, Bob Adams. Several members of the former Energy Fuels Nuclear Company joined the new Energy Fuels, including the current Chief Executive Officer Steven Antony, and Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Vigil. “I started the company for my own benefit, but also for the benefit of the community,” Glasier said. “I see the community dying, our schools are shrinking. We had 80 graduates when uranium was booming. Last year there were 12 or 13. Our community needs to survive.”[…]

Many locals support the mill, anticipating more jobs, higher wages and more services. Others, especially those with ties to the Telluride tourism industry, are opposed. “The White Mesa Mill is about the same distance from Telluride,” Glasier said. “It’s been there 30 years; it hasn’t done anything to air quality.”

In addressing concerns from organic producers in the area, Glasier notes that there are large certified organic farms near the decommissioned Cotter uranium mill near Cañon City. The Cotter mill didn’t ruin local agriculture by proximity. At this point, those who oppose the mill could file suit. Gary Steele, vice-president of Energy Fuels, says it won’t deter the company from pursuing financing to build the mill. “We’re highly confident in the process we went through,” said Steele, “the due diligence, the issues raised by CDPHE and the answers we gave.”

The company hopes to start construction of the mill within the next year.

More nuclear coverage here and here.

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