background image
Pion Ridge Mill License Approved
CO Confident In Safety Of State-Of-The-Art Facility
Campout at State
Bridge... Pg 14
Welcome to the
Future!... Pg 4
Cinco De Mayo
Pg 9
Pool Party at the
Pg 11
Pion Ridge Uranium Mill license applica-
tion meets state regulatory requirements
DENVER: The Colorado Department of
Public Health and Environment Radiation
Program announced April 25th that Energy
Fuels Resources Corp. has met all the regula-
tory requirements for a radioactive materials
license for the Pion Ridge Uranium Mill in
western Montrose County, Colo. State law
requires the department to approve applica-
tions when such requirements are met.
The license was required before Energy Fuels
could construct its planned 500-tons-per day
uranium/vanadium mill approximately 12
miles west of Naturita, Colo., in the Paradox
Valley. The mill will process uranium ore
from mines in the region to produce uranium
oxide, which requires additional processing
2013 May #4-4
Energy Fuels on Nov. 18, 2009, and has undergone a thorough technical and
regulatory review. Prior to its approval of the license, the department and the
applicant conducted eight public meetings in 2010 in Nucla, Naturita, Para-
dox, Montrose, Telluride and Ophir. And in November 2012, the department
held a six-day hearing in Nucla to allow cross-examination of witnesses and
to solicit additional public comment. All of the information was thoroughly
reviewed by the state¡¯s Radiation Program prior to the decision to grant the
The administrative record includes comprehensive reports and comments
by engineers, scientists, environmental and business groups, government
officials from western Colorado counties and towns, and regulators. Anyone
interested can view the department¡¯s Decision Analysis and Environmental
Impact Analysis, which includes a copy of the license and the department¡¯s
responses to public comments.
Dr. Urbina said, ¡°From the beginning, we have listened carefully to the
public and worked with Energy Fuels to minimize risks to public health and
the environment. Today¡¯s engineering standards, and strict environmental
regulations, far exceed those in place when the last such mill was constructed
more than 25 years ago. We are confident these standards and regulations
will ensure the safe construction and operation of the facility.¡±
outside Colorado to become fuel for nuclear reactors. The mill also will re-
cover vanadium, a metal used in steel alloys and high-tech batteries.
The license imposes a number of conditions on Energy Fuels involving con-
struction of the mill; the receipt, possession, use and transfer of radioactive
materials; and procedures to minimize risks to property and public health
and safety, and to prevent loss or theft of radioactive material. Notably, the
license requires an enhanced groundwater monitoring plan, subject to annual
A separate settlement agreement between Telluride and San Miguel County
with Energy Fuels sets up additional protections related to the transporta-
tion of radioactive materials, blowing dust and water quality monitoring. In
addition to the approximately $13 million financial surety established by the
state, this agreement increases Energy Fuels¡¯ total surety to an amount not
less than $15 million.
Dr. Chris Urbina, executive director and chief medical officer of the depart-
ment, said, ¡°With the approval of the license, our work is not done. We will
continue to work with the community members and officials to keep them
informed of progress.¡±
During construction and operation of the Pion Ridge facility, the depart-
ment¡¯s oversight will continue, including regular inspections and an annual
review of the financial assurance. The de-
partment expects to have at least one staff
member whose primary assignment will
include monitoring and inspections of the
Ron Henderson, chairman of the Montrose
Board of County Commissioners said,
¡°An exhaustive process has been followed
and validated with the approval of this
Montrose Commissioner David White said,
¡°This validates the science behind the ap-
plication, design and potential construction
of the mill. It is a state-of-the-art facility
and will benefit the citizens of Montrose
County, the state of Colorado and the
United States for decades to come.¡±
The license application was submitted by
Paradox Valley from the North, future site of the Pion Ridge Mill