Florida lawmaker wants repeal of laws allowing nuclear power companies to get “advance money” from customers
Lawmaker joins calls for repeal of nuclear advance fee with new bill, Tampa Bay Times, Ivan Penn, 23 Jan 15 State Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Seminole, this week filed legislation to repeal the so-called nuclear advance fee that allowed Duke Energy Florida and Florida Power & Light to collect money from their customers before new plants come online.
Ahern’s legislation is the third bill filed for the 2015 session aimed at ending the fee. The measure largely targets Duke Energy over its troubled nuclear operations detailed in reports by the Tampa Bay Times.
Duke used the advance fee to charge its Florida customers about $1.5 billion for the now-canceled Levy County nuclear project. In addition, the utility spent hundreds of millions of dollars more through the advance fee to increase power at the broken and now shuttered Crystal River nuclear plant. Neither Levy nor Crystal River will ever produce a kilowatt of electricity for the money.
“The consumers are being taken advantage of by utility providers,” Ahern said. “We need to take precautions to ensure that these types of events don’t happen again.”……..
The Murphy and Latvala bill would also require Duke Energy to refund all or most of the money collected from its customers through the advance fee.
Contact Ivan Penn at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 892-2332. Follow @Consumers_Edge. http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/energy/lawmaker-joins-calls-for-repeal-of-nuclear-advance-fee-with-new-bill/2214873
The Marshall Islands’ latest nuclear test – Marshall Islanders are well-acquainted with the horrors of the nuclear arms industry. Belen Fernandez, Aljazeera, 18 Jan 15
The list of accused is as follows: the United States, Russia, Britain, China, France, India, North Korea, Pakistan, and Israel. Israel has made the cut despite fervently denying possession of a nuclear arsenal.
The spectacle is unfolding at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the main judicial organ of the United Nations. A recent New York Times article on the Marshall Islands’ “near-Quixotic venture” quotes Phon van den Biesen, head of the country’s legal team, on the ultimate aim of the effort: “All the nuclear weapons states are modernising their arsenals instead of negotiating [to disarm], and we want the court to rule on this.”……….
The diminutive nation happens to be the site of no fewer than 67 US nuclear bomb tests in the 1940s and 50s, during an almost 40-year period in which the US administered the Islands under a UN trusteeship. As Greenpeace notes, one of these tests involved a bomb 1,000 times more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.
Such machinations have predictably resulted in thorough environmental contamination and continuing health complications for the local population, ranging from radiogenic cancers to babies born without bones.
As Marshallese nuclear survivor Lemeyo Abon told the UN Human Rights Council in 2012: “After the [US] testing programme we’ve had to create new words to describe the creatures we give birth to.”
Lexical fallout aside, other US contributions to Marshallese culture include the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll, which continues to generate revenue for US corporations.
The widespread territorial displacement necessitated by the previous era of fanatical nuclear testing meanwhile highlights the irony of Marshallese government support for the US-funded entity that displaces and otherwise oppresses Palestinians……….. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2015/01/marshall-islands-latest-nuclear-201511352947395615.html
Austria prepares lawsuit against Hinkley Point Interfax, By Annemarie Botzki 15 January 2015 Austria is preparing legal action against the European Commission’s decision to allow a price guarantee for EDF’s £34 billion ($51 billion) Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in the UK, the Austrian Environmental Ministry confirmed this week.
“The Austrian federal government, with the unanimous support of the Austrian Parliament, is preparing an action for annulment to the Court of Justice of the EU,” ministry spokesperson Julia Puchegger told Interfax.
The commission said on 8 October that the UK’s plans to subsidise the construction and operation of the 3.3 GW plant are in line with EU state aid rules.
The lawsuit – targeted against the EU’s state aid approval – will be filed after publication of the commission’s decision on Hinkley in the Official Journal of the EU, which is not yet available.
“Austria strictly rejects any kind of direct or indirect subsidies to nuclear power, arguing for the complete internalisation of all external costs based on the polluter pays principle,” Puchegger said. “Austria also does not consider nuclear power to be eligible for the European Fund for Strategic Investments [EFSI].”
The EFSI is a €315 billion ($372 billion) package promoted by the new commission, led by Jean-Claude Juncker, that also will invest in energy infrastructure projects…….
Chances of success
“I think that there are good chances for success for a lawsuit,” Reinhard Schanda, a partner at the Vienna-based law firm Sattler & Schanda, told Interfax.
The EU’s environmental and energy aid guidelines for 2014-2020, adopted in July 2014, did not include rules for subsidies for nuclear energy – which are assessed on a case-by-case basis by the commission’s Directorate General for Competition.
According to Schanda, the commission is likely to have argued in its decision – so far unpublished – that the Euratom treaty provides the basis for its decision.
“It remains to be seen whether an EU objective of common interest can derive from the Euratom treaty,” Schanda told Interfax………../ http://interfaxenergy.com/gasdaily/article/15008/austria-prepares-lawsuit-against-hinkley-point
A Former Ground Zero Goes to Court Against the World’s Nuclear Arsenals NYT, By MARLISE SIMONSDEC. 27, 2014 THE HAGUE — Tony de Brum was 9 years old in 1954 when he saw the sky light up and heard the terrifying rumbles of “Castle Bravo.” It was the most powerful of 67 nuclear tests detonated by the United States in the Marshall Islands, the remote Pacific atolls he calls home.
Six decades later, with Mr. de Brum now his country’s foreign minister, the memory of those thundering skies has driven him to a near-Quixotic venture: His tiny country is hauling the world’s eight declared nuclear powers and Israel before the International Court of Justice. He wants the court to order the start of long-promised talks for a convention to ban atomic arsenals, much like the treaties that already prohibit chemical, biological and other weapons of mass destruction.
Mr. de Brum says the initiative is not about seeking redress for the enduring contamination and the waves of illness and birth defects attributed to radiation. Rather, by turning to the world’s highest tribunal, a civil court that addresses disputes between nations, he wants to use his own land’s painful history to rekindle global concern about the nuclear arms race………
In its first written arguments, presented to the court this month, the Marshall Islands contended that the nuclear powers had violated their legal obligation to disarm. Specifically, the arguments said, by joining the 1968 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, five countries — the United States, Russia, Britain, France and China — undertook to end the arms race “at an early date” and to negotiate a treaty on “complete disarmament.”
Three other nuclear nations that did not agree to the treaty — India, Israeland Pakistan — and a fourth that withdrew from it — North Korea — are required to disarm under customary international law, the Marshall Islands’ case claims. The existence of Israeli nuclear weapons is universally assumed, but Israel has not acknowledged having them.
“All the nuclear weapons states are modernizing their arsenals instead of negotiating, and we want the court to rule on this,” said Phon van den Biesen, the leader of the islands’ legal team, who first asked the court to hear the case in April…….. Continue reading
344 displaced residents from Minamisoma sue TEPCO http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/344-displaced-residents-from-minamisoma-sue-tepco DEC. 20, 2014 – TOKYO —
A group of 344 former residents of Minamisoma in Fukushima Prefecture are suing Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) for more than 6 billion yen in compensation for being forced to leave their homes due to the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
The group’s lawyers filed the suit with the Tokyo District Court on Friday, NTV reported.
According to the suit, the plaintiffs are seeking damages for mental suffering experienced while living in less than adequate temporary housing after being forced from their homes in the Odaka area of the city in the wake of the nuclear disaster in March 2011.
Along with an individual payment of 10 million yen, the plaintiffs are also demanding monthly compensation of 200,000 yen for the next three years until the evacuation order is lifted for their hometown.
Although some areas in Minamisoma are now open for re-entry, none of the citizens has returned to their homes.
General Electric, EBASCO, Toshiba and Hitachi should be held responsible for costs of irradiated sailors
Why hasn’t the Japanese government, like the American sailors, filed its own lawsuits against these same companies to determine their legal liability? In other words, why are the Japanese people being forced to pay for the possibly negligent actions of some of the world’s largest corporations?
Question of negligence hangs over nuclear firms in U.S. case over Fukushima fallout http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2014/12/10/voices/question-negligence-hangs-nuclear-firms-u-s-case-fukushima-fallout/#.VIzEptLF8nk BRIAN VICTORIA Yellow Springs, Ohio
As you may be aware, a federal judge in the U.S. recently ruled that a class-action lawsuit filed by about 200 U.S. Navy sailors can proceed against Tokyo Electric Power Co. and other defendants they blame for a variety of ailments caused by radiation exposure following the nuclear reactor meltdowns at Fukushima No. 1.
The sailors allege that Tepco knowingly and negligently gave false and misleading information concerning the true condition of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant to the public, including the U.S. military. They further allege that Tepco knew the sailors on board the USS Ronald Reagan would be exposed to unsafe levels of radiation because Tepco was aware three nuclear reactors at the site had already melted down.
In this connection, the lawsuit notes that on Dec. 14, 2013, Naoto Kan, Japan’s prime minister at the time of the disaster, told a gathering of journalists regarding the first meltdown: “People think it was March 12 but the first meltdown occurred five hours after the earthquake.”The sailors in question were participating in Operation Tomodachi, providing humanitarian relief in response to the Japanese government’s calls for assistance. In accordance with the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, these sailors literally risked their lives to aid and protect the people of Japan.
The sailors accuse Tepco of negligence, failure to warn of the dangers, and design defects in the construction and installation of the reactors, among a total of nine claims for damages. To date, the sailors have experienced such illnesses as leukemia, ulcers, brain cancer, brain tumors, testicular cancer, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, thyroid illnesses, stomach ailments and a host of other complaints unusual in such young adults.
One of the major questions to be decided by the lawsuit is who will pay for the military members’ ongoing and possibly lifelong medical treatment. Continue reading
Washington state to sue federal government over nuclear site vapors, Yahoo News, By Victoria CavaliereNovember 19, 2014 SEATTLE (Reuters) - Washington state’s attorney general said on Wednesday he intends to sue the U.S. government for not adequately protecting workers involved in the decades-long cleanup of a decommissioned nuclear site, saying dozens have been sickened by toxic vapors.
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Wednesday the Department of Energy was not doing enough to protect tank workers with dozens reporting illnesses over the past two decades, including 44 over the past 12 months.
“Hanford workers face a very real and immediate health risk,” Ferguson said during a conference call Wednesday. “I want these protections now and I want them for the duration,” he said.
A study released last month by a panel of independent experts found strong evidence of a causal link between chemical vapors and adverse health effects in tank farm workers and also that the system for measuring such vapors was inadequate.
These health effects have ranged from nosebleeds, headaches, dizziness, nausea, burning skin and increased heart rate to reported long-term disabilities, including permanent loss of lung capacity, the report found.
“Despite the 20 years of study and multiple reports, there is no lasting solution and workers continue to get sick,” Ferguson said.
In announcing the intent to file a lawsuit, the Department of Energy has 90 days to respond with a plan of action, he said……..http://news.yahoo.com/washington-state-sue-federal-government-over-nuclear-vapors-224320870.html
PG&E May Have Secretly Altered Earthquake Standards for California’s Last Nuclear Power Plant, AlterNet The aging plant is located on an intricate network of earthquake fault lines. October 29, 2014 |
This week a group of environmental activists brought a lawsuit against PG&E and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission because, as it turns out, federal regulators secretly revised Diablo’s license “to mask the aging plant’s vulnerability to earthquakes,” as the San Francisco Chronicle put it.
“The suit claims that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and [PG&E] last year changed a key element of the plant’s license related to seismic safety without allowing public input as required by law — or even notifying the public at all. The changes concern the strength of earthquakes that the plant … can withstand,” reports the Chronicle.
The public PG&E failed to notify consists of my parents, cousins, teachers, childhood friends, and their children. It’s heartbreaking to read about a nuclear disaster an ocean away, but it’s terrifying to realize that the same thing could happen here in California because of a greedy, negligent corporate coverup.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which is specifically set up to review the decisions of federal agencies. The group behind the suit wants the court to shut down the plant until the necessary changes are in place. They want public hearings to take place to amend Diablo Canyon’s license. So far PG&E denies all of the allegations………
“Environmentalists have long argued that the plant wasn’t designed to survive the shaking that some of the newly discovered faults could produce,” states the Chronicle. “And last year, Michael Peck, one of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s inspectors at Diablo, recommended shutting down the plant until the commission determined that its equipment could withstand a strong quake from those faults. The commission rejected the idea.”……http://www.alternet.org/environment/pge-may-have-secretly-altered-earthquake-standards-californias-last-nuclear-power-plant
NYTimes: Doctors want ban on thyroid cancer screenings — “A tsunami of thyroid cancer… Stop the diagnosis… We need to actively discourage early detection” — WSJ:Judge rules nuclear reactors causing thyroid cancers — Study: Fukushima-related tumors can spread very fast, must be closely monitoredhttp://enenews.com/nytimes-doctors-call-banning-thyroid-cancer-screening-tsunami-thyroid-cancer-stop-diagnosis-decrease-screening-need-actively-discourage-early-detection
New York Times, Nov. 5, 2014 (emphasis added): To the shock of many cancer experts, the most common cancer in South Korea… is now thyroid cancer, whose incidence has increased fifteenfold in the past two decades. “A tsunami of thyroid cancer,” as one researcher puts it… Cancer experts agree that the reason for the situation in South Korea and elsewhere is not a real increase in the disease. Instead, it is down to screening… “It’s a warning to us in the U.S. that we need to be very careful in our advocacy of screening,” said Dr. Otis W. Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society… some doctors, including Dr. Hyeong Sik Ahn of the College of Medicine at Korea University in Seoul, the first author of the new paper, have called for thyroid cancer screening to be banned… Thyroid experts in the United States are calling for restraint in diagnosing and treating tiny tumors… Dr. R. Michael Tuttle… said the best way… was to “stop the diagnosis… decrease screening”
New York Times Op-ed by H. Gilbert Welch, Nov. 5, 2014: An Epidemic of Thyroid Cancer [in South Korea]?… Nowhere in the world is the rate of any cancer growing faster… Where did all those new thyroid cancers come from? They were always there. As early as 1947 [See:August 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, both ~150 miles from S. Korea] … thyroid cancer was a frequent finding during autopsies. Studies have since shown that over a third of adults have thyroid cancer… Even without a concerted effort to promote screening, thyroid cancer incidence in the United States is up threefold since 1975. To reverse this trend,we need to actively discourage early thyroid cancer detection… having doctors not look too hard for early cancer is in your interest… Too many epidemiologists concern themselves.. with hoping to find small health effects of environmental exposures — orworse, uncertain effects of minor genetic alterations.
Wall St. Journal, Oct 21, 2014: A South Korean court for the first time has ruled in favor of a plaintiff claiming… thyroid cancer was caused by radiation from six nuclear power plants located [5 miles] from her house… “She has lived within 10 km of the plants for over 20 years and has thus been exposed to radiation for a long time. Other than the radiation from the nuclear reactors, there’s no clear reason for her cancer,” the court said… [A] government-commissioned study in 2011… showed women living within 5 km of nuclear plants had 2.5 times higher incidences of thyroid cancer… [In a study of the plaintiff’s county by a] nuclear-power research institute… between July 2010 and December 2013, about 1.4%… were found to have thyroid cancer… in 2011 [women had] 114 cases out of 100,000 [0.11%].
UC San Francisco, Oct. 27, 2014: For the first time, researchers have found that exposure to radioactive iodine is associated with more aggressive forms of thyroid cancer… Lydia Zablotska, MD [said] “Our group has previously shown that exposures to [Chernobyl’s] radioactive iodine significantly increase the risk of thyroid cancer… The new study shows that radiation exposures are also associated with distinct clinical features that are more aggressive”… Zablotska said the findings have implications for those exposed to [Fukushima’s] radioactive iodine fallout... “children or adolescents to the fallout are at highest risk and should probably be screened for thyroid cancer regularly, because these cancers are aggressive, and they can spread really fast… Clinicians should be aware of the aggressiveness of radiation-associated tumors and closely monitor those at high risk.”… radioactive iodine [exposures] are associated with a whole spectrum of thyroid diseases… Thyroid cancer is ordinarily rare among children, with less than one new case per million diagnosed each year… [In the study] researchers diagnosed 158 thyroid cancers among 11,664 [13,546 per million] subjects…
AUDIO: Judge adds General Electric, EBASCO, Toshiba and Hitachi as defendants in nuclear radiation case
Attorneys for the USS Reagan sailors hit by Fukushima radiation won big in court last week: Judge Janis Sammartino ruled that the $1 billion lawsuit against TEPCO for health damages and medical treatment CAN not only move forward, it adds as defendants General Electric, EBASCO, Toshiba and Hitachi – the companies that designed and built the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors. Nuclear Hotseat talks with attorneys Paul Garner and Charles Bonner………http://www.nuclearhotseat.com/2188/
Friends of the Earth petitions U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review licensing of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Reactor
Group Asks Court For Review Of PG&E’s Diablo Canyon Nuclear Reactor License Over Earthquake Fears http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2014/10/28/environmental-group-asks-court-for-review-of-pge-diablo-canyon-nuclear-reactor-license-over-earthquake-fears/ October 28, 2014 AVILA BEACH, San Luis Obispo County (CBS SF) — An environmental group asked a federal court Tuesday to review its claim that California’s last operating nuclear power plant is violating federal law and should be shut down at least temporarily.
In a petition filed in Washington with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Friends of the Earth said the Nuclear Regulatory Commission violated its own rules when it altered the operating license for the Diablo Canyon reactors.
The petition marked the latest development in the dispute over potential danger posed by earthquake faults near the reactors.In a statement, the group said the change, involving how risks from earthquakes are assessed, should have triggered a license amendment proceeding that would have involved public hearings. Instead, the change was made internally.
The petition asked that the change be overturned and the court order a license amendment proceeding. It also asks that the power plant be shut down until those proceedings are completed.
“The NRC acted arbitrarily, abused its discretion and violated” federal laws by approving the change without seeking the required license amendment, the petition said. The NRC and plant owner Pacific Gas and Electric Co. have long said the plant located near San Luis Obispo, midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, is safe and in compliance with regulations.
NRC spokeswoman Lara Uselding said in an email the agency will review the filing.
The environmental group said the NRC and the company are trying to conceal that the reactors are vulnerable to strong shaking from possible earthquakes. “It is now clear that these outdated 1960s-era reactors are not built to withstand the earthquake risks that surround the plant,” spokesman Damon Moglen said in a statement. “Instead of making them address these safety issues, the NRC worked with PG&E to change the rules.”
Pakistan court stops construction work on nuclear plants http://www.firstpost.com/india/pakistan-court-stops-construction-work-nuclear-plants-1761153.html 19 Oct 14, Islamabad: A court in Pakistan has restrained the government from initiating construction work on two proposed nuclear power plants unless environmental safeguards are adhered to, media reports here said. The two-judge bench at the Sindh High Court restrained the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) yesterday to carry out work at the proposed sites in the southern port city of Karachi without adhering to environmental laws.
The court directive was issued on a petition challenging the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report of the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency which approved the two plants.
The counsel of petitioner said that the reactors would be built by the China National Nuclear Corporation on a design known as ACP-1000 that has not been operational even in China.
“The ACP-1000 reactor so far exists only on paper and in computer programmes and any real life experience, tests and trials … on the ACP-1000 design will be from operating the reactors in Karachi,” the counsel added.
Karachi, one of the world’s most densely populated cities with an estimated population of about 21 million, lacked the infrastructure for mass evacuation of its inhabitants in the wake of a possible nuclear accident, he added.
Pakistan government had finalised plans for starting work on two nuclear power plants of 11,00 MW each – adjacent to the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant – with support from China. Besides, subsequent plans for two more plants – K-4 and K-5 – were also under consideration.
Judge Sullivan resorts to incomplete logic in order to bar world-renowned expert from testifying in “flowers” case…
“I don’t like to break the law and don’t encourage others to do so, either. But this industry has to be stopped.”
Ace Hoffman October 19, 2014
Judge Sullivan resorts to incomplete logic in order to bar world-renowned expert from testifying in “flowers” case…
Four grandmothers attempted to plant flowers to bring attention to the dangers at Pilgrim nuclear power plant. But Judge Sullivan refused to allow world-renowned pediatrician and nuclear expert Helen Caldicott to testify in their defense, because she (the judge) sees a huge difference — when pushed to see it by the District Attorney — between “potential theoretical harm” and actual imminent harm.
The defendants — four women 60 to 80 years old — are using the “necessity” defense. Is there an immediate danger? Is the illegal act (trespassing) effective in addressing and abating the danger? The judge refused to learn how quickly a nuclear power plant can explode. She refused to hear that the plans for evacuation require immediate action for millions of people around the plant. She refused to consider that the warning that it’s time to evacuate must be sent out by people who, if they fail to do their duty, will be responsible for the deaths of thousands of people, and end up in Judge Sullivan’s court (if she survives the holocaust) to be sentenced for negligent homicide.
How imminent can you get?
And sticks and stones may break my bones but planting flowers never hurt anybody.
The judge would like to turn the issue of nuclear safety away. Not her concern. Not in her courtroom. That’s for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to decide. They say it’s safe. And for the judge, that’s the end of the “imminent threat” defense. Continue reading
there are currently 13 candidates up for election in November who want to sell or seize public lands for drilling, mining, or logging and seven senators not up for reelection, including four Arizonans: Sen. McCain, Sen. Jeff Flake, U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, and State Rep. Andy Tobin.
Federal Court: One Million Acres Near Grand Canyon Protected From Mining, Think Progress, BY ARI PHILLIPS OCTOBER 10, 2014 In early October, an Arizona federal judge upheld the Obama Administration’s 2012 withdrawal of over one million acres of federal lands surrounding Grand Canyon National Park from uranium mining. Originally imposed by then-Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, the mining industry challenged the ban arguing that the 700-page Environmental Impact Statement was inadequate, failed to address “scientific controversies”, and was unconstitutional.
and several sacred Native American sites. According to the government’s study, removing the ban would mean that 26 new uranium mines and 700 uranium exploration projects could be developed.
According Roger Clark, air quality and clean energy director at the Grand Canyon Trust, the ruling affirms conclusions by five federal agencies, including scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey — that uranium mining poses unacceptable risks to Grand Canyon’s water, wildlife, and people.
“Uranium mines threaten hundreds of the Grand Canyon seeps and springs that provide precious water to thousands of desert-dwelling species,” wroteClark. “Every new mine sacrifices cultural sites and fragments wildlife habitat, polluting the park with dirt roads, dust, heavy machinery, noise, off-road drilling rigs, power lines, and relentless truck traffic.”………
When Salazar first banned this block of 633,547 acres of public lands and 360,002 acres of National Forest land from mining in 2012, a number of politicians objected, including U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), John McCain (R-AZ), John Barrasso (R-WY), and Mike Lee (R-UT). Sen. Hatch said mining the land “poses no environmental threat” and that the announcement was another sign that the Obama Administration “is one of the most anti-American energy presidencies in history.”
Fast-forward two years later and there are currently 13 candidates up for election in November who want to sell or seize public lands for drilling, mining, or logging and seven senators not up for reelection, including four Arizonans: Sen. McCain, Sen. Jeff Flake, U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, and State Rep. Andy Tobin.
The uranium mining companies have 60 days to appeal Judge Campbell’s decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and are likely to do so, according to the Center For Biological Diversity. http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/10/10/3577414/arizona-grand-canyon-uranium-mining-withdrawal/
The Grand Canyon Will Not Be Mined for Uranium http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/grand-canyon-will-not-be-mined-uranium-180952950/?no-ist Uranium mining will be banned for the next 20 years on nearly 1 million acres of land near the Grand Canyon By Rachel Nuwer smithsonian.com October 6, 2014 For the next two decades, at least, lands near the Grand Canyon will not be dug up in search of uranium. U.S. District Judge David Campbell just upheld a 20 year ban on uranium mining for an area of nearly 1 million acres near the Grand Canyon, the Arizona Daily Sun reports.
The mining ban was originally set by the Department of the Interior in 2012 but was recently challenged by a group of mining companies led by Gregory Yount, manager of the Northern Arizona Uranium Project. Yount claimed that the 2012 decision was based on faulty science and “improperly favored Native American claims that the land was sacred,” the Daily Sun writes. “It is pretty clear that the decision was not based on the specific sites but on Native Americans’ feelings about the sacred land,” Yount said. He also added that the predicted environmental degradation of water, land and wildlife around the Grand Canyon had been “significantly exaggerated” in 2012.
Judge Campbell, however, didn’t buy into those arguments. The decision not to mine around the Grand Canyon is important for “protecting a national treasure,” he told the Daily Sun. Moreover, he agreed with evidence that mining would disrupt the lives of members of the Havasupai tribe, who live in the region and consider the land there of cultural and religious importance.
Yount—who will be 74 when the ban is lifted—says he does not plan to appeal the decision this time around. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/grand-canyon-will-not-be-mined-uranium-180952950/#xI8meVsDAueyseTC.99
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