(Nuclear Energy Institute, November 6) – NEI is urging Wyoming to enter into an agreement with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission that would give the state’s Department of Environmental Quality oversight of uranium recovery activities within its borders.
Currently, Wyoming uranium mines are regulated under both NRC and state rules. Becoming an ”agreement state,” as provided for in the Atomic Energy Act of 1958, would benefit Wyoming by allowing mining to proceed under a state license alone.
“With Agreement State status, Wyoming would maintain its existing robust and rigorous regulatory program, while eliminating duplicative federal regulation that is not needed to ensure safety yet slows the licensing process and diverts millions of dollars to the NRC that would be more effectively spent mining uranium in Wyoming,” NEI President and Chief Executive Officer Marvin Fertel said in a Nov. 5 letter to the chairmen of the Wyoming state legislature’s minerals, business and economic development committee.
“This solid and well-established arrangement has been implemented successfully for uranium recovery activities in other states, with resulting benefits in jobs and revenue for state treasuries.”
There are approximately 22,400 licenses issued for medical, academic, industrial and general uses of radioactive materials in the United States. While the NRC regulates approximately 10 percent of these licensees, 37 states have entered into agreements with NRC that give those states the authority to license and inspect byproduct, source or special nuclear materials used or possessed within their borders. Under the agreement, states may oversee the in-situ mining of uranium.