The Nuclear Safety Council has rejected the uranium factory project that the mining company Berkeley planned to build in Retortillo (Salamanca). The radioactive concentrates factory was linked to the open-pit uranium mine whose preparatory work had been progressing while all the activity permits were obtained. The plenary session of the Council has approved the technical report that saw security deficiencies in the project.
Football, bullfighting and festivities to sweeten the idea of opening an open-pit uranium mine in Salamanca
The main stumbling block, as reported by the CSN, is the uncertainty generated by Berkeley’s plan to store radioactive waste. “Poor reliability and high uncertainties in the safety analysis of the radioactive facility”, has described the agency, referring, above all, to the “definitive storage of radioactive waste of very low activity, which is part of the first category radioactive facility” . Four members of the plenary have voted in favor of this report and a fifth has announced a dissenting individual vote.
The uranium mine and factory project in the Salamanca meadows has entailed a long, controversial process full of stops in court. The plan combined, on the one hand, the extraction of uranium ore in an open-air mine and, on the other, the plant to obtain uranium concentrates that are the first step to make nuclear fuel. The Board considers that “the information provided does not allow limiting the effective isolation capacity of the barriers that BME [la minera] proposes to wrap the waste, and consequently neither the ability to minimize the expected concentrations of radionuclides in the potential discharge areas. “That is, they highlight that there are gaps in how the company intended to store the remains of its activity and, therefore, prevent radiation from affecting the environment.
In addition, the security body slaps the mining company on the wrist by indicating that its analyzes have detected “numerous deficiencies throughout the evaluation, which has required the maintenance of many technical meetings with the licensee, as well as numerous requests for additional information, in addition to the preparation of a large number of reports and evaluation notes “.