Going nuclear

The approval of a controversial $150 million uranium mill in Montrose County’s West End doesn’t mean we’re headed back to the bad old days of unregulated mill production that resulted in costly, taxpayer-funded cleanups decades later.

This isn’t the 1950s and state regulators are clearly mindful of the health and environmental issues associated with the mill.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment took 14 months before issuing a radioactive materials license for Energy Fuels Inc. It made more than 400 requests for additional information from the company, and looked carefully at the science related to issues such as air and water quality. Finally, the state required the company to set aside reasonable amounts of money to deal with potential cleanup and health issues.

That’s hardly evidence of a “rushed” decision, as some claimed.

Nuclear power should have a place in this nation’s energy future. The state action Wednesday to approve the mill is an important step in that direction.


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