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Energy Fuels Pinon Ridge Uranium Mill Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

None. Through an agreement with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the state of Colorado has sole responsibility for reviewing and approving or denying the license application.

No. This is not a federal project, so it does not fall under the requirements of the National Environmental Protection Act. However, the state will thoroughly reviewed the Environmental Report contained in the application package to ensure the project is protective of public health and the environment, and summarized these results in the Environmental Impact Analysis of the April 2013 decision document.

The completeness determination is an administrative milestone confirming that the review process may begin - it has nothing to do with technical adequacy of the license application. Requests for Information (RFIs) are a normal, expected part of the review process and the department issued such requests throughout the process to get further clarification on issues identified during the technical review.

The Colorado Department of Public health and Environment regulates only the milling process and has no authority over active mines, which are regulated by the Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety. There is no single agency responsible for determining impacts on a regional level. If other radioactive materials applications for mills are received, they will be evaluated individually.

The application and related documents are available to the public on this website and at public repositories located at:

 

Nucla Public Library
544 Main Street
Nucla, CO 81424
970-864-2166

 

Montrose County Planning and Development
317 S. 2nd Street
Montrose, CO 81401
970-249-6688

A team from the Radiation Program and related disciplines within the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment evaluated the Energy Fuels application.  In addition, reviews of specific technical components of the application were performed by other state agencies, such as the Division of Parks and Wildlife, Department of Transportation and Department of Local Affairs.  Individual reviewers are selected based on their training and backgrounds as appropriate for that technical component.

 

Each reviewer provided his/her assessment of the information provided and determined whether it provides sufficient assurance that the proposed mill will meet the regulatory and statutory requirements and the necessary protection of human health and the environment. The technical reviews were compiled to create the decision document and recommend a license decision. These recommendations will be reviewed by the Radiation Program Manager, Steve Tarlton, and the Radioactive Materials Unit Leader, Jennifer Opila, for concurrence.

No and no. The application specified that the mill feedstock will be uranium ore and produced water from Energy Fuels' mines. Because Energy Fuels did not provide any information on how it will transport, store, and introduce produced water into the mill circuit, the department did not authorize it as a feedstock.  The mill is not licensed to process radioactive waste, but it will include an onsite disposal facility for waste generated by its operation.  The license application did not seek nor does the license allow the import of outside radioactive materials for disposal.

The license application and license is for Energy Fuels to process 500 tons of ore per day. If Energy Fuels wishes to increase that amount in the future, the company must submit an application for a license amendment and go through the licensing process again.