Cameco, the Canadian company that mysteriously received tons of yellow cake supposedly from Iraq, to Montreal, continues to target Lakota territory for uranium mining
NRC Sets Hearing Date for Cameco, Inc. In Situ Leach Uranium Mining License Renewal
Sept. 17, 2008
By Ow Aku (Bring Back the Way)
PINE RIDGE, SD The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has set Sept 30-Oct 1, 2008 for the hearing date for petitioners to intervene in the 10 year license renewal proceeding for Cameco, Inc.’s In Situ Leach uranium mine near Crawford, Nebraska. A four judge panel of the Atomic Licensing Board has been established and will convene at Chadron, Nebraska State College in the Student Center. The hearing is open to the public.
Petitions were filed July 28, 2008 by 13 Petitioners composed of 7 individuals from Nebraska, South Dakota and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, 4 organizations (NGOs Owe Aku (Bring Back the Way) and Western Nebraska Resources Council and traditional family organizations - the American Horse Tiospaye and the Afraid of Bear/Cook Tiwahe), the Oglala Sioux Tribe, and the Oglala Delegation of the Black Hills Sioux Treaty Council, represented by Chief Oliver Red Cloud.
The 13 petitioners oppose the renewal of Cameco’s license to operate an In Situ Leach uranium mine citing the potential to contaminate drinking water sources due to the mixing of groundwater, threats to public health, and failures of the corporation to adhere to research and reporting requirements including the filing of their license application which was missing 20 pages. The petitioners assert that Cameco’s application to renew their existing Crow Butte Operations license does not accurately describe the environment affected by its proposed mining operations or the extent of its impact on the environment as a result of its use and potential contamination of water resources, nor considers the harm to public health and safety through mixing of contaminated groundwater in the mined aquifer with water in surrounding aquifers and drainage of contaminated water into the White River.
Changing the geo-chemistry of the water is equivalent to adulteration of the water.
It takes many generations for the adulterated water to recover so that it can once again be used for traditional medicines and ceremonies, and for drinking and irrigation, causing environmental and cultural impacts, lack of environmental justice, depletion of the aquifer at a time of drought, and economic detriments to property owners as a result of the lowering of the water table.
Attorneys representing the 13 petitioners seeking standing to intervene in this process are Bruce Ellison, David Frankel, Shane Robinson, Tom Ballanco, and Elizabeth Lorraine. They will present oral arguments on Sept 30 and Oct 1. The NRC has set aside Oct 2 to tour the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Crow Butte Resources, Inc., a subsidiary of Canadian multinational Cameco, Inc. [NYSE: CCJ] (www.cameco.com), recently began doing business as Cameco Resources, identifying their existing ISL mine at Crawford, NE as “Crow Butte Operations”.
Cameco is planning to open two more ISL mines in the Crawford area: the Three Crow and the Marsland Expansions, in addition to the current North Trend Expansion plan. Owe Aku, Western Nebraska Resource Council, and Debra White Plume are recognized petitioners opposing the North Trend and are currently involved in the pre-hearing administrative process. The hearing for the North Trend ISL Uranium Mine has not yet been scheduled. Attorneys representing these 3 petitioners are Bruce Ellison of Rapid City, SD, and David Frankel, Legal Director of Alignment for Responsible Mining.
According to research by done by Owe Aku, the ISL mines owned by Cameco, Inc. in Nebraska, Wyoming, and Canada have all had spills and leaks since beginning ISL mining of uranium, recently making a settlement payment of $1.4 million to Wyoming for license violations, and $50,000. to Nebraska for license violations. Cameco manages a radioactive waste site near Port Hope, Ontario, and have been charged recently by area residents with discharging the toxic cocktail of uranium, arsenic and radium onto a public beach of Lake Ontario in violation of Ontario Residents’ Environmental Rights, and Cameco’s ISL mine in Cigar Lake, Canada, shut down due to flooding. Cameco, Inc. partners with Power Resources, Inc. who is planning to ISL uranium mine in northern Colorado.
The In Situ Leach (ISL) mining process involves injecting a bicarbonate solution into the aquifer which releases uranium from sand particles in the aquifer and also stirs up and releases radioactive and toxic chemicals like Radon, Thorium, Radium and Arsenic into the environment. The uranium is removed from the water and a form of “geo-chemically changed” water is re-injected into the aquifer. No ISL uranium mine has ever returned the water in the mined aquifer to pre-mining levels.
For more info visit www.bringbacktheway.com, www.savecrowbutte.org, www.uraniumisnotmyfriend.org
Contact person: Debra White Plume 605-455-2155 or 308-862-1297.
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Censored News is published by censored journalist Brenda Norrell. A journalist for 27 years, Brenda lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, writing for Navajo Times, AP, USA Today, Lakota Times and other American Indian publications. After being censored and then terminated by Indian Country Today in 2006, she began the Censored Blog to document the most censored issues. She currently serves as human rights editor for the U.N. OBSERVER & International Report at the Hague and contributor to Sri Lanka Guardian, Narco News and CounterPunch. She was cohost of the 5-month Longest Walk Talk Radio across America, with Earthcycles Producer Govinda Dalton in 2008: www.earthcycles.net/
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