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Groups appeal Utah court’s ruling in favor of 3,000-MW nuclear project via SNL

Utah environmental groups are trying again to block a developer’s attempt to secure water rights for a potential 3,000-MW nuclear plant on the Green River.

While Blue Castle Holdings Inc., the developer led by a former Utah state lawmaker, recently said the project is moving forward with the selection of the Westinghouse Electric Co. LLC AP1000 as the reactor technology, the groups are arguing that the project has made little progress and should not be allowed to lease water for the site.

The legal action is an appeal of a state court decision. In a trial held in that case, Blue Castle revealed that it had raised less than $20 million. Since this amount falls far shy of the $20 billion needed to build the proposed two reactors, the water rights amounts to unlawful speculation on the part of Blue Castle, the groups alleged.

[…]

But the river has more than 4 million acre-feet of water, Wright said. He also argued that the amount of money raised by Blue Castle is irrelevant to the case. “Nothing in the law, federal or state, requires we have $20 billion in the bank to start this process,” he said.

The lawsuit also claims that the stretch of the river that would be affected by the plant is particularly sensitive because it is home to four native endangered species of fish that are already threatened by lower river flows due to drought. But Wright said that it is the introduction of invasive, nonnative fish that has created the endangered status, and the plant would not worsen the problem.

Blue Castle has said the next step in the development of the plant is to apply for an early site permit with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The groups claim that a search of federal records shows the company has had no formal communication with the NRC since 2011. The early site permit application will not be submitted until 2016, according to Blue Castle.

Read more at  Groups appeal Utah court’s ruling in favor of 3,000-MW nuclear project

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