uranium enrichment comments sought
- Friends: Comments on the NRCs draft EIS on the Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility, which Areva wants to build about a mile east of the Idaho National Laboratory are due MONDAY. Please look at the info below for some talking points to include in your testimony. Your comments can be brief and emailed. Ive also attached a backgrounder and you can certainly call the Alliance for more info. On the other hand, if you are a NEPA nerd, and some on these distribution lists come to mind, theres a link on our web site to the full draft in the last article in the Whats Hot section on the right. NNs should pay particular attention to preconstruction before NEPA/license and licensing a facility before regulations are in place to dispose of its waste. You might also look at Purpose and Need. That sections a hoot.
Arevas Uranium Enrichment Factory
Monday, September 13 Comments due
Surface mail: Cindy Bladey, Chief
Rules, Announcements and Directives Branch
Division of Administrative Services
Office of Administration
Mail Stop TWB-05-B01M
Washington, DC 20555-0001
Fax: To RADB at (301) 492-3446
Your comments to the NRC could include some of these points.
There is no need for a new US plant to enrich uranium for electricity production. Current supplies are clearly adequate, and already operating or planned new enrichment capacity would exceed US demand by about the same amount as Arevas plant might produce, even if a nuclear renaissance occurs.
Arevas plant would not increase US energy security by providing a domestic source of enriched uranium. Areva is owned by the French government. The raw material for the plant would be imported. Some portion of its product would be exported.
Arevas plant would produce 320,000 tonnes of depleted uranium hexafluoride over its licensed lifetime, and its license might well be extended. All this waste might be stored in Idaho until the plant was decommissioned. Even after its removed and treated, there is no certain disposal pathway. Arevas plant should not be licensed until regulations are in place for disposal of large quantities of depleted uranium.
Gas centrifuge uranium enrichment is a technology the Federation of American Scientists calls an open road to a nuclear weapon. At the very least, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission must produce an unclassified proliferation assessment of Arevas plant.
The NRC has demonstrated a clear bias toward licensing by granting Areva permission to begin preconstruction activities in October, long before any final decision has been made. The NRC must withdraw its permission to begin.
Pronghorn antelope, greater sage grouse, and ferruginous hawks all will likely abandon the Areva site and surrounding areas due to development and human activity. Sage grouse is a candidate species for federal protection. The problem is compounded by construction of the electric transmission line and poles proposed to support the facility, which sage-grouse are known to avoid because they serve as perches for raptors.
The NRC should address both Arevas failure to comply with the Federal Farmland Protection Act and its own failure to fully analyze the environmental effects of a large range fire at the Areva site.
Snake River Alliance
Pocatello, ID 83204