Appeal hearings begin against proposed nuclear power plant near Green River

ST. GEORGE – Today a new chapter in The Blue Castle Group’s attempt to bring nuclear power to Utah will begin as Judge George Harmond of the 7th District Court hears testimony in a case appealing water rights given the company, the trial will determine the company’s right to use water from the Green River.

The San Juan County and Kane County Water Conservancy districts, Blue Castle Holdings, and State Engineer will present testimony on Monday and Tuesday while experts and attorneys for the plaintiffs will present testimony on Wednesday.

The proposed nuclear site is “located about five miles west-northwest of Green River, Utah, in Emery County” according to the company’s website. In 2012 State Engineer Kent Jones awarded the Blue Castle Group water rights from the Green River in order to cool its two nuclear reactors. This decision allows the Blue Castle Group to use up to 1.74 billion gallons of water each year.

“That’s enough water to supply a city of 200,000 people,” policy director for HEAL Utah, Matt Pacenza, said. “it is a tremendous amount of water.”

The plaintiffs, Uranium Watch, Living Rivers, Sierra Club, Utah Rivers Council, HEAL Utah, two Green River recreation companies and several individuals will appeal the state’s decision on the grounds that the Blue Castle Group failed to provide sufficient evidence that the nuclear plant is a physically and financially feasible project. The proof of feasibility is crucial for the state to award water rights because it prevents Utah from allocating water rights to risky and speculative business ventures.

When Utah State Engineers awarded the rights in 2012 they concluded that the Blue Castle Group displayed satisfactory evidence. The plaintiffs disagree.

Some of these plaintiffs also raise concern about negative effects on business downriver from the plant and the environment. Others also raise the question of public safety.

The Blue Castle Group has yet to publicize who it will be selling power to, but it contends that the market exists.

If the Blue Castle Group wins the appeal, it will then begin the $100 million process of receiving a license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the hopes of constructing the plant by 2016 and beginning energy production in 2020.

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Ed. clarification: Hearings herein are the trial in the case of HEAL Utah, et al., v. Kane County Water Conservancy District, et al., in which the plaintiffs appeal the state engineer’s approval of change applications involving water rights.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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2 Comments

  • kevin D blanch September 24, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    This is so evil and corrupted, in so many ways remember there so called funding lead dog hedge fund 9 WHO BY THE WAY, are under investigation by the F.B.E. an eh S.E.C. why not just build a statue of TED BUNDY on I 15, this is corrupt by all players they belong in JAIL, thank you HEAL, FOR sowing some integrity,

  • Phil Thum September 25, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Can’t believe how corrupt the State and ‘State water engineer’ are to approve this plan. They must have promised them the moon. We all live in the high desert and have all seen and understand in the desert
    there a droughts that can last for years. Especially now in the middle of a climate cycle change.
    What is the Nuclear Plant going to do when it can’t get enough water to cool the “RODS”. Another
    melt down by poorly managed design and located systems. What an insane place to put a Nuclear
    Reactor ? 5 miles north of Green River ? Image all that nuclear water going down stream after an
    accident. Think of all the communities down stream. Powell,Page, Lake Mead,Las Vegas. This is pure
    stupidity and greed. Hundreds of miles from no where, to serve whom? NO NUCLEAR POWER IN UTAH
    period.

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