Presentation on theme: "Briefing on Uranium Recovery Industry: FY-2008 Prepared for NRC/BLM Uranium Workshop Prepared by: Christopher S. Pugsley, Esq. Partner, Thompson & Simmons,"— Presentation transcript:
Briefing on Uranium Recovery Industry: FY-2008 Prepared for NRC/BLM Uranium Workshop Prepared by: Christopher S. Pugsley, Esq. Partner, Thompson & Simmons, PLLC
Uranium Recovery Overview: Introduction International and National Policies Have Created New Interest in Nuclear Power; Generally, Most Advocates and Opponents of Nuclear Power Focus on the Back-End of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: – Nuclear Power Reactors; However, It is Just as Crucial to Efficient and Effective Nuclear Power Production to Have a Strong Front-End of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: – Uranium Mining/Milling: Spot-Market Price as High as $140/Lb. (Summer-2007) and Now Rests at $65/Lb.
Uranium Recovery Overview: Industry Trends & Proposals Not Including Agreement States, NRC Anticipates As Many As: – Twenty-One New Uranium Recovery Sites (Mostly In Situ Uranium Recovery (ISR)); – Ten Restarts or Expansions of Existing Uranium Recovery Facilities Regulatory and Industry Should Be Focused on: – “Streamlining” the Licensing/Permitting Process; – Coordinating with Other Regulatory Entities
Uranium Recovery Overview: New Projects NRC States Have Several Proposed Projects for Which License Applications or Letters of Intent Have Been Submitted (List Not Exhaustive): – Nebraska: Crowe Butte (North Trend Expansion/License Amendment) (Three Crow/Expansion); – Wyoming: Ur-Energy (Lost Creek/New License); Uranium One, Americas (Moore Ranch/Antelope/New License); COGEMA (Christensen Ranch/Facility Restart); Uranerz Energy (Hank and Nichols/New License); Power Resources, Inc. (Gas Hills/Expansion); Kennecott Uranium (Sweetwater/Facility Restart); – South Dakota: Powertech Uranium (Dewey Burdock/New License); – New Mexico: Hydro Resources, Inc. (Crownpoint Uranium Project/New License Issued); Strathmore Minerals (Roca Honda/New License)
Uranium Recovery Overview: New Projects Uranium Production Companies Have Submitted Applications for Primary ISR Production Projects Over the Past Year: Crow Butte Resources (Cameco Resources) (North Trend Expansion, NE); Energy Metals Corporation (Uranium One) (Moore Ranch, WY); Uranerz Energy Corporation (Nichols Ranch, WY); Ur-Energy Corp. (Lost Creek, LLC) (Lost Creek, WY)
Uranium Recovery Overview: New Projects Four ISR License Applications Have Been Submitted to NRC and Noticed for Potential Public Hearings: Crow Butte/Cameco: Currently in Administrative Hearing: – Standing and Admissible Contention Determination Currently on Appeal at Commission; – Outstanding Contentions Still Remain to Be Evaluated Energy Metals/Uranium One: No Hearings Requested Uranerz Energy: Hearing Request Deadline on August 15, 2008 Ur-Energy/Lost Creek: Hearing Request Deadline in September 8, 2008
Uranium Recovery Overview: “Streamlining” “Streamlining” is Already Being Put Into Effect: The New NRC ISR Generic Environmental Impact Statement (ISR GEIS): – Created in Response to Increased Interest in Uranium Recovery and a Lack of Resources; – Created So That Environmental Analyses Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA); – Created So That Environmental Analyses Would Not Be Redundant and That Such Analyses Would Not “Re- Invent-the-Wheel”
Uranium Recovery Overview: NRC’s ISR GEIS Current Schedule for ISR GEIS: Scoping Report for GEIS:Issued July, 2008 Draft ISR GEIS:Issued July 25, 2008 Public Comments:Proposed 60 Days (October 7, 2008) Draft GEIS Hearings:8 Public Hearings (SD, NE, NM, WY) Final GEIS:Anticipated June, 2009
Uranium Recovery Overview: “Streamlining” “Streamlining” is Also Viable Through the Use of Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs): – Overlap in Regulatory Process Should Be Solved Via Coordination and Not Rigid, Segmented, & Redundant Reviews: Environmental Assessments (EAs) Should Be Coordinated and Not Separate So That Review Process is Not Unnecessarily Extended; Previous Analyses Should Be Applied As Appropriate and Incorporated by Reference; Regulatory Agencies Should Use MOUs to Focus and Simplify the Licensing Process
Uranium Recovery Overview: Conclusions Nuclear Utilities Will Require New Sources of Uranium After The Cessation of the Russian HEU Agreement and Depletion of Available Inventories; Groups Such as the National Mining Association (NMA) Stand Ready to Assist Regulators With Efforts At “Streamlining” and Coordination, Where Appropriate; With Applications for New Facilities Already Being Reviewed, The Time for These Efforts is NOW
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