Utah court hears arguments over nuclear plant issue

The Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah (HEAL) was to present arguments against proposed nuclear reactors near the Green River during a court hearing scheduled Sept. 23 in Price, Utah.

Heal and Uranium Watch have argued that a state engineer failed to uphold Utah law when he gave Blue Castle Holdings approval to take more than 50,000 acre feet of water from the river to cool their nuclear power project.

The Blue Castle website said that it seeks to develop a two-unit nuclear plant that would expand Utah’s generating capacity by about 50% while protecting air quality. The president and CEO of Blue Castle is Aaron Tilton, a former Utah state representative with experience in electric power and venture capital businesses.

Former-Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman Nils Diaz is also a member of the Blue Castle management team, as is former Intermountain Power Agency (IPA) General Manager Reed Searle.

The lawsuit was filed in March 2012 in District Court in Emery County, Utah. The plaintiffs have also questioned whether there is enough water in the Green River during drought periods to supply the reactors.

The hearing could last from Sept. 23 through Sept. 30, according to the HEAL website.

The Blue Castle site is located about five miles west-northwest of Green River, Utah in Emery County. BCH said that it has engaged an experienced firm to conduct a preliminary evaluation of the Blue Castle site with regard to the site’s potential suitability for development of a commercial nuclear power plant.

The firm found the site had no “fatal flaws,” Blue Castle has said.

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.