indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Dynamic Homes
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Native Sun News: NRC weighing uranium mine near Pine Ridge
Friday, December 7, 2012
Filed Under: Environment | National
More on: native sun news, nrc, oglala sioux, south dakota, uranium
 
The following story was written and reported by Talli Nauman, Native Sun News Health & Environment Editor. All content © Native Sun News.


Public given chance to stall proposed mine expansion near Pine Ridge
By Talli Nauman
Native Sun News
Health & Environment Editor

WASHINGTON — The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Nov. 30 announced the opportunity for anyone interested to intervene in Crow Butte Resources Inc.’s application to expand its uranium mining operation to the Marsland site, located between the Pine Ridge Reservation and Crawford, Neb.

In 2008, the Oglala Sioux Tribe intervened to demand hearings on a previous proposal for expansion of the company’s mining, at the nearby North Trend site. The NRC also granted participation in those proceedings to the nonprofit Western Nebraska Resources Council, the nonprofit Owe Aku (Bring Back the Way) and its founder, Debra White Plume, who is Oglala Lakota.

The new opportunity for requesting a hearing or otherwise seeking approval to intervene in the application for the additional expansion was posted in the Federal Register. It gives interested parties until Jan. 29 to request a hearing, petition for leave to intervene or move for permission to file contentions. Instructions for doing so are included in the Federal Register notice. The NRC will determine eligibility.

Crow Butte Resources Inc., a subsidiary of Canadian mining giant Cameco, wants to increase in-situ recovery (ISR) mining, which involves injecting a leach solution into wells drilled into an ore body, allowing the solution to flow through the ore body and extract uranium, then removing the uranium from the solution by ion exchange. Precipitation, drying and packaging into solid yellowcake uranium also takes place on site for shipping to nuclear power plants.

Interveners in the previous application argued, among other things, that “the current mine sites are within the treaty boundaries; that they possess water and mineral rights under the treaties, that infringement of the treaties would constitute injury.”

The NRC replied, “We do note certain treaty-related matters in passing, but these are not determinative on any of these issues.”

The NRC did allow petitioners to argue their allegations about contamination of water resources and potential resulting environmental and health issues, as well as concerns over adequate consultation with tribal leaders regarding a prehistoric Indian camp located in the region of the then-proposed expansion site.

A permit for expansion was granted on Aug. 15, 2011, for operations at the 1,165-acre North Trend site. The permit included the government’s declaration removing the groundwater in the injection area from eligibility for human consumption.

Then, in a February 2012 letter, Cameco asked the NRC to exempt it from a requirement to complete groundwater restoration within two years. “The imposition of such precise, prescriptive timeframes to groundwater restoration in aquifers that are part of natural systems is not practicable,” Cameco Director of Radiation Safety & Licensing Josh Leftwich said in the letter.

The NRC refused to review the exemption request, saying it was incomplete. The agency noted the request lacked a description of how the exemption would not endanger life, property, or common defense and security and how it would be in the public interest.

“Staff notes that despite several years of effort to restore groundwater at the Crow Butte facility, only one well field restoration has been approved by the NRC,” the agency told Cameco in a June 22 letter.

On Aug. 31 and Sep. 1, the Crow Butte site was evacuated due to threatening wildfire east of the mine. During the evacuation, a crew of five employees remained on site for security purposes. Source material on the site was kept under 24-hour surveillance. The wildfires did not enter the licensed area and as a result no releases of radioactive material were detected, Cameco reported to the NRC in September.

Crow Butte Resources Inc. has been mining uranium for Cameco on the southern side of the Pine Ridge Reservation in Nebraska for 29 years.

Cameco is one of the world’s largest uranium producers, accounting for about 16 percent of international production. Its uranium operations span the globe with mining, milling and development assets in Canada, Australia and Central Asia as well as the United States, where the Smith Ranch-Highland operation in Wyoming is another of its assets.

Located between the Crow Butte mine field and the Smith Ranch-Highland field is the proposed Dewey-Burdock uranium mine site, a project of the Canadian holding company Powertech Uranium Resources Corp.

(Contact Talli Nauman at talli.nauman@gmail.com)


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Businesses show support for LNI tournament (3/27)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala Sioux fighter climbing in the ranks (3/27)
Mark Trahant: Alaska Natives look 10,000 years into the future (3/27)
Ivan Star: The influences of boarding school and Vietnam War (3/27)
Gyasi Ross: Funerals become family reunions in Indian Country (3/27)
Tim Giago hands over the reins as publisher of Native Sun News (3/27)
House committee passes Native American Children's Safety Act (3/27)
Bill to benefit Miami Nation moves forward in House and Senate (3/27)
City extended contract to send treated sewage to sacred peaks (3/27)
Oneida Nation welcomes ruling backing land-into-trust request (3/27)
Lawmakers want BIA to delay new federal recognition reforms (3/27)
Another conviction from Chippewa Cree Tribe corruption probe (3/27)
Editorial: Shakopee Tribe contributes $5M for health initiative (3/27)
Opinion: Navajo Nation enacts 'sin tax' on unhealthy products (3/27)
Editorial: Opposition to Pamunkey Tribe recognition 'revolting' (3/27)
Dennis Jenkins: Hypocrisy for new tribal casinos in Connecticut (3/27)
Supreme Court asked to hear Kialegee Tribal Town gaming case (3/27)
Ho-Chunk Nation extends agreement for off-reservation casino (3/27)
Indiana lawmakers seek role in Pokagon Band gaming compact (3/27)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux leader not pleased with boycott (3/26)
Lakota Country Times: Lakota Nation Invitational stays in Rapid (3/26)
Native Sun News: Mayor of Rapid City addresses race relations (3/26)
Jane Daugherty: Tribal e-commerce continues to draw scrutiny (3/26)
Witness list for Senate Indian Affairs Committee's field hearing (3/26)
Richard Iron Cloud: Remove murderer's name from sacred peak (3/26)
Native Youth: Bring dental therapy providers to Indian Country (3/26)
Steven Newcomb: Tribal nations still under dominating process (3/26)
Law firm hosts tribes for session on marijuana in Indian Country (3/26)
Judge upholds BIA decision on Oneida Nation land-into-trust bid (3/26)
Appeals court rules against Crow Tribe in housing grant dispute (3/26)
Ho-Chunk Nation raises minimum wage to $2.75 above federal (3/26)
Mishewal Wappo Tribe to appeal decision in recognition lawsuit (3/26)
Racist emails of former Montana federal judge to be preserved (3/26)
Shingle Springs Band considered but rejected indoor gun range (3/26)
House panel backs bill to block Tohono O'odham Nation casino (3/26)
Quapaw Tribe did not include casino on land-into-trust request (3/26)
Chumash Tribe never got apology for diplomat's casino remark (3/26)
Governor won't sign casino compact with Fort Sill Apache Tribe (3/26)
Cherokee Nation approves $6.9M renovation project for casino (3/26)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux veteran training for Paralympics (3/25)
Alaska Native musher Chuck Schaeffer completes 2015 Iditarod (3/25)
LTBB News: Michigan tribes come together for historic meeting (3/25)
Lecture focuses on repatriation of tribal intellectual properties (3/25)
Board still working on delivering money for Cobell scholarships (3/25)
Sen. Barrasso to chair field hearing on drugs in Indian Country (3/25)
Bill for tribal marijuana compacts up for hearing in Washington (3/25)
Choctaw Nation chief hopes to travel to Ireland for monument (3/25)
HHS urged to do more to help tribes with foster care programs (3/25)
Eastern Cherokees work to teach language to new generations (3/25)
Another suggestion for Indian woman on $20 bill -- Sakakawea (3/25)
Man from Crow Tribe cites self-defense in fatal casino shooting (3/25)
Shawnee Tribe sees opposition to off-reservation gaming plan (3/25)
Navajo Nation signs Class III casino compact with New Mexico (3/25)
Quapaw Tribe insists a casino isn't focus of Arkansas land plan (3/25)
Suquamish Tribe reaches deal to allow highway work at casino (3/25)
more headlines...


Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.