Monday, September 23, 2013

No One Wants Uranium Mining except Canadain Mining Companies

HAMAK: Powertech offers no guarantees

September 22, 2013 4:00 am
Let your voice be heard this Monday at the Ramkota Hotel at 2111 N. LaCrosse St. in Rapid City.
The South Dakota Mining Board begins its hearings of foreign-owned Powertech’s large-scale mining permit request to mine uranium in the Black Hills. The board has limited public comment to only two hours, so it’s imperative we exercise our freedom of speech. Public comments start at 10 a.m.
We who oppose uranium mining are not wild tree-hugging environmentalists like proponents want you to think. We are ordinary people ranging from city dwellers, parents, farmers and scientists who are standing up to protect where we live and the water we depend on for life.
"Promises" on paper by Powertech are not good enough. There is no guarantee that their proposal to mine uranium is safe and if things do go wrong, guess what? You and I (the taxpayers) will be left to pay for the cleanup mess after they are long gone, but our health and environment will pay the biggest price. Oh, and those tourists that the Black Hills region depends on so heavily for its economy? They won’t want to vacation in a toxic waste zone, either.
— Nancy Hamak, Keystone

The history of Powertech: a company with no mining experience wants to mine uranium here

September 22, 2013 4:16 am  • 
Powertech Uranium Corp., the company that wants to begin mining near Edgemont, is a Canadian firm that has built more water boilers than uranium mines.

In fact, the company, which used to build boilers, really only began delving into minerals in 2005 and in its current incarnation as Powertech, has never drilled a well or mined anything.

Opponents of the mine also worry that the company has a shaky financial foundation, and has strong foreign ownership interests that may have no reason to protect the land and water in South Dakota.
The company has spent most of its minerals-related life just preparing to open a mine.

As Powertech's proposed Dewey-Burdock mine south of Rapid City comes up for its first state permit hearing on Monday, the hearing will culminate years of advance planning by the company.

But this will not be the company's first run at the complex and drawn-out approval process for a uranium mine.

A few years back, the company ran into stiff opposition for its proposed Centennial uranium mine near Ft. Collins, Colo. Protesters there raised money and gathered thousands of signatures against the project. State lawmakers stepped in and wrote more restrictive uranium mining regulations — a stark contract to South Dakota's moves to weaken its oversight of the proposed mine.

On top of that, the company faced an unforeseen, and tragic, complication that hurt its Colorado plans.

On March 11, 2011, a tsunami slammed into the coast of Japan and precipitated the meltdown of the Fukushima reactor. As the first major nuclear reactor disaster since the reactor accident at Chernobyl in 1986, it renewed panic over the safety of using uranium-powered reactors for energy.

The uranium markets chilled immediately.
Targeting South Dakota
Officially becoming Powertech Uranium Corp. in 2006, the company went on to purchase mineral rights on three other projects in Wyoming and Colorado. At the end of 2006, Powertech Uranium Corp. had reserves of nearly $9 million.

Powertech proceeded to announce new prospective projects: the Centennial project in Colorado; four possible projects in Wyoming; and the Dewey-Burdock project, located about 15 miles northwest of Edgemont.

Meanwhile, the company brought on staff members with in situ mining experience.

Richard Clement, a uranium industry veteran, became Powertech's president and chief executive officer. John Mays, who worked at Wyoming's Smith Ranch-Highland mine, became vice president of engineering.

And Powertech hired a uranium mining convert who lived as close as possible to the project's geographical heart: Mark Hollenbeck, a local rancher, former Edgemont mayor and state legislator who grew up in Dewey.

Hollenbeck's introduction to Powertech was showing up with concerns at a local Powertech meeting about the proposed project. After learning more about it and subsequently getting a job offer,

Hollenbeck came on board. He said his position is mainly to make sure the mine will be safe and that locals are treated fairly.

Niger government wants French uranium company AREVA to stop ripping it off

ain, cracks found at Davis-Besse nuclear power plant
reactor-Davis-Besse-near-Lake-ErieMore cracks found at Davis-Besse nuclear plant NRC says they pose no threat Columbus Despatch September 22, 2013 TOLEDO (AP) — The operator of an Ohio nuclear plant along Lake Erie has found several more cracks in the concrete building housing the nuclear reactor and says some cracks found earlier have grown a bit…….