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Wyoming to take over nuclear permitting via Gillette News Report

LARAMIE — Wyoming is set to sign a deal Sept. 25 to take control of oversight of its own uranium production and begin regulatory authority in October.

The move to take over nuclear regulatory control from the federal government has been completed “ahead of schedule and ahead of budget,” said Kyle Wendtland, land quality division administrator for the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.

Wyoming began the four-year process of becoming an agreement state in 2015, and the agency originally aimed to take control of nuclear permitting by 2019.


Wyoming has the largest uranium reserves in the U.S. and open-pit mining once employed about 3,000 workers in Fremont County before the market collapsed in the early 1980s.

Uranium reserves in the Shirley Basin also have economic potential for Albany County. Ur-Energy, which controls the Shirley Basin mine sites, estimates that 6.3 million pounds of uranium ore could be extracted from the site.

If the price rose to $100 per pound, Wyoming would have roughly $40 billion worth of uranium reserves, according estimates by the federal government.


Production in countries with less environmental rules has made domestic production uncompetitive and Russia has increased exports to advance its foreign policy goals. Russia, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan now account for 30-40 percent of U.S. uranium imports, according to Paul Goranson, chief operating officer for Energy Fuels Inc.

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