Areva Comments Due MONDAY!
- From: Snake River Alliance <lwoodruff@...>
Monday, September 13 - Comments due
Put "NUREG 1945 in the subject line"
Your comments to the NRC on the uranium enrichment factory Areva wants to build in Idaho 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 Areva's plant might produce, even if a nuclear renaissance occurs.
Areva's 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.
Areva's 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 it's removed and treated, there is no certain disposal pathway. Areva's 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 Areva's 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 Areva's 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.