Uranium recovery is the first step in the nuclear fuel cycle. Originally, uranium was recovered through conventional mining and milling. Today, all but one uranium recovery operation in the United States use in situ leach recovery, a process where uranium is dissolved from underground rock and pumped to the surface. Regulatory authority over in situ uranium recovery lies with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and individual states that have entered into agreements with the NRC to regulate in situ uranium recovery operations. This presentation will provide participants with an overview of the regulations governing uranium recovery, and will focus on current “hot topic” issues in the industry, including anticipated changes under the Biden Administration. Panelists will include an indigenous advocate for the Laguna Pueblo/Navajo (June Lorenzo), as well as representatives from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality/Land Quality Division (David Adams and Kelly Shaw), industry (Chris Pugsley), and the Natural Resources Defense Council (Geoffrey Fettus).
David Adams, Health Physicist, Uranium Recovery Program, Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Cheyenne, WY
Geoffrey Fettus, Senior Attorney, Nuclear, Climate & Clean Energy Program, Natural Resources Defense Council, Washington, DC
June Lorenzo, Chief Judge, Pueblo of Zia, Zia Pueblo, NM
Christopher Pugsley, Thompson & Pugsley PLLC, Washington, DC
Kelly Shaw, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Water & Natural Resources Division, Wyoming Attorney General's Office, Cheyenne, WY
Rebecca Susko, Counsel for NRC Staff, US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Rockville, MD