Arguments conclude on Blue Castle nuclear case in Utah

Legal arguments concluded Sept. 27 in Utah regarding a court challenge by environmental groups against a Blue Castle Holdings proposal to build a nuclear power station near the Green River.

The Healthy Environment Alliance (HEAL) of Utah and Uranium Watch have argued that any new nuclear plant in the area would require a massive amount of water to be extracted from the Green River for equipment cooling purposes.

Seventh District Judge George Harmond is expected to rule on the water rights case within 60 days, according to a Sept. 27 article in the Salt Lake Tribune. The case revolves around whether a state engineer made the right decision in assigning more than 50,000 acre-feet of water to Blue Castle.

Among other things, nuclear foes argued that the Blue Castle nuclear project proposal is far too speculative to be awarded such water rights. Opponents have also alleged that the water permit would put native endangered fish species at risk. That’s according to a blog on the case posted regularly on the HEAL website.

Blue Castle and its supporters say that nuclear power is key to help Utah move away from coal-fired power generation and toward a low-carbon energy supply. The president and CEO of Blue Castle is Aaron Tilton, a former Utah state representative.

Heal Utah versus Kane County.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.