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Federal board wraps up hearing on Crow Butte uranium mine license renewal

Federal board wraps up hearing on Crow Butte uranium mine license renewal

The federal Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Friday wrapped up a week-long hearing in Crawford on the 10-year renewal of the operating license for the Crow Butte Uranium mine.

The board now has ninety days to affirm, modify, or reverse the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s renewal of Cameco Resources license at the mine southeast of  Crawford.

Ken Vaughn, spokesman for Cameco,  is optimistic there will be no change in the recommendation. Vaughn cites testimony during the hearing  that the employees of the mine do a very good job of operating safely and within the requirements set by its state and federal permits.

Much of the testimony was on issues raised and discussed at earlier hearings over the past several years with opponents of the mine questioning its safety, spills or leaks from holding ponds over its 20-plus years of operation, and the geology of the area southeast of Crawford.

The opponents pushed for requiring new geologic studies of the mine site for fractures in the shale, arguing that technological advances mean more detailed information can be obtained than from earlier studies..

Opponents of the mine protested most of the week on city park land immediately west of the Crawford community building where the hearing was held.

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